Heart Disease: Types, Symptoms & Risk Factors2018-03-16T22:13:39+00:00

Heart Disease, Symptoms & Risk Factors

Heart Disease

The term heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, is an umbrella term for diseases, conditions, and defects of the heart.

  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hypertensive heart disease (e.g., aneurysms, atherosclerosis, hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Cerebral vascular disease
  • Stroke

Heart disease might be congenital (present at birth) or can develop later in life. It is the leading cause of death in America – for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and about one in every four deaths is related to heart disease.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Not every person with heart disease has the same signs. Some may be asymptomatic. The symptoms you experience depend on your particular condition:

Narrowing/thickening of arteries

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, or upper back
  • Pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms or legs


Abnormal heart rhythm

  • Fast or slow heartbeat
  • Fluttering in your chest
  • Discomfort or pain in the chest area
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Weak heart muscle

  • Breathlessness after exertion
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling in the legs and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting


Valvular disease

  •  Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Swelling in the feet
  • Irregular heartbeat

What factors increase the risk of heart disease?

Heart disease doesn’t discriminate; it can affect anyone of any race from any background at any stage of life. That being said, there are certain risk factors for heart disease that you should be aware of.

  • Age – the older you get, the higher your risks
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Birth control pills
  • Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Diet high in cholesterol, salt, and sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes and prediabetes
  • Unmanaged stress

If you are at risk of developing heart disease, take steps to eliminate or reduce any risk factors that are within your control. The following pages provide further details on heart health:

World-Class Care at Heart Vascular & Leg

If you have precursors or symptoms of heart disease, set up your appointment with The Heart Center for an evaluation. Our founder, Dr. Kumar regularly attends national medical conventions and conferences to bring the best technologies and diagnostics back to Bakersfield.

You’ll have access to our world-class heart specialists and state-of-the-art evaluation, testing, and treatments, all in a single location.

Call us today at 661-324-4100 or fill out our contact form. We offer same-day appointments and accept most types of insurance.