What is heart disease?
Heart disease refers to a number of illnesses that affect your heart and nearby blood vessels. Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood through your body. Like any muscle, your heart needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients, which it gets from blood pumped from the lungs and other parts of the body. Blood vessels carry this oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the heart.
If not enough blood reaches your heart, you may feel a pain in your chest called angina. You may also feel angina pain in the left arm and shoulder, neck, or jaw. You may not always feel angina when your heart is not getting enough blood.
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to your heart is cut off completely. If blood flow isn’t quickly restored, the part of your heart that does not receive oxygen begins to die. While some heart muscle may be permanently damaged, quick treatment can limit the harm and save your life.