Basic facts about heart disease

Heart disease is a broad term that includes several different types of heart conditions.

What is heart disease?

The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which leads to heart attacks. CAD occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries (which bring blood to the heart muscle), causing them to harden and narrow. This hardening and narrowing of the arteries is called atherosclerosis, and can reduce or block blood flow that supplies oxygen to the heart.

Risk factors for heart disease

How common is heart disease in Massachusetts?

  • 8.33% of Massachusetts adults 35+ have heart disease 
  • 7.3% of Massachusetts men 35+ reported being diagnosed with heart disease 
  • 4.4% % of Massachusetts women 35+ reported being diagnosed with heart disease 

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