Heart Health Basics

Meet Your Heart

There's so much information about heart health, it can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Right here. Learn the basics about how your heart functions and most importantly, how to help keep it healthy.

Are you a heart event survivor? Look for this icon to find content just for you.

Are you a heart event survivor?
"Since then, I am in the process of quitting smoking and trying to lose weight - which is hard. I now take an 81mg aspirin regularly."
"I am a 43 year old female who has been a nurse for 17 years and works in a doctor's office. I was sitting at home on May 15, 2011 when I had severe pain in my chest, radiating to my left arm. I ended up in the emergency room when I asked my children to take me. I truly believe that if I had not chewed that 325mg aspirin when I started having the chest pain then it would have been a different story altogether. They did a complete work up and sent me home with Nitrostat to use as needed. I continued to have chest pain on and off. The doctor I work for insisted that I go see a cardiologist (I'm very thankful that she did insist). I did see the cardiologist and had my stress test - and then I had my first cardiac cath where they found that I had a 100% blockage in my left main artery and 80% in my left descending artery.

The cardiologist refused to do open heart surgery at that time and placed 2 stents. He told me that I would need to come back in thirty days to do phase two because I had two more blockages that I needed fixed. I went back on July 12, 2011 and they found that my main artery was 90% blocked and he placed a stent there along with 4 more stents in my right coronary artery. During the time that he was putting the stent in my main artery, I did have a mild heart attack. During both cardiac caths, the doctor stated that he did not know why I had not had a heart attack before and both times he refused to do open heart surgery. He stated that I was too young. Since then, I am in the process of quitting smoking and trying to lose weight - which is hard. I now take an 81mg aspirin regularly. I have a lot of family support but they sometimes treat me as if I am fragile. I love them all but I wish things could be different. It should be me that worries about them, not them worrying about me."
100,000
That's how many times the average heart beats each day.
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What really happens during a heart attack?
What are the factors that compromise your heart health? What can you do about it?
Your family history can increase your risk of heart disease.
Get tips and tools to help you emerge even stronger than before.
How aspirin does more than just relieve headaches.
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of heart disease.
Is your pain a warning sign of heart attack or a bout of indigestion?
How to plan and start and exercise program.
Your prescription for a healthier heart and a better quality of life overall.
If you tend to forget to take your medications, here are 7 tips that may help.
Chances are you've heard of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Learn more about these "good fats".
The two most important omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA because they're the ones your body can't make on its own. But how do they help your heart?
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times a week—particularly fatty fish. Some people choose fish oil supplemeents to get their omega-3s instead.
Ask your doctor about the heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil supplements. Print this
To get more omega-3 fatty acids, you can take an omega-3 supplement, or eat more fish—but you can also try these fun ways to boost the heart-health appeal of every meal.