To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
Heart disease, or coronary artery disease, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.
Many problems with the heart happen because of atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in arteries. Plaque buildup causes your arteries to narrow, which makes it harder for your blood to flow freely through your body.
Causes of heart disease may include:
Most factors that increase your risk of heart disease relate to lifestyle, such as:
Nearly half of Americans have at least one heart disease risk factor.
Surgeons at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute have pioneered minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat heart disease. We work as a team to provide complete heart disease treatment — from prevention to diagnosis.
Because heart disease can manifest in different ways, it can be hard to notice symptoms and get a diagnosis.
Not everyone has symptoms of heart disease, and sometimes symptoms can be subtle based on what type of heart disease you have.
Common signs and symptoms include:
If you have arrhythmia, you may feel like your heart is fluttering, beating too fast, or skipping a beat.
Your doctor will do a physical exam and order tests to diagnose heart disease. He or she will ask about your symptoms, family history, and assess any risk factors.
The UPMC Advanced Cardiac Imaging Program uses state-of-the-art technology not found at other medical centers in the Pittsburgh region.
Tests you may need to help your doctor confirm a heart disease diagnosis include:
UPMC's Cardiac Catheterization Program specialists perform more than 23,000 diagnostic and interventional heart catheterizations each year.
Most cases of heart disease, specifically coronary artery disease, are preventable with a healthy lifestyle and medicine.
Some ways to help prevent or delay heart disease include:
Treatment depends on the type of heart disease and how severe.
The goals of heart disease treatment are to:
A treatment plan may include lifestyle changes, heart disease drugs, and surgery.
To prevent or reverse damage to the heart and lessen symptoms, you should adopt some heart-healthy lifestyle habits.
Some lifestyle changes you can make are to:
Your doctor may prescribe drugs to lower your risk of serious complications and to manage symptoms.
Heart disease medications help:
You may need surgery to open blocked arteries or to repair or replace a valve.
Methods we use to treat heart disease include:
Severe cases of heart failure or birth defects may require a heart transplant.
UPMC's Cardiac Catheterization Program specialists perform more than 23,000 angioplasty procedures and heart catheterizations each year.