Cardiovascular disease includes a number of conditions affecting the structures or function of the heart, including coronary artery disease and vascular (blood vessel) disease. Cardiovascular disease is by far the leading cause of death in the United States.

Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart) causes about one million heart attacks each year. Even more worrisome, 220,000 people with heart attacks will die before even reaching the hospital.

Research about cardiovascular disease risk factors suggests that making even small lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke and other serious cardiovascular conditions.

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

Reviewed: 08/13