What exactly is heart disease and why is it the leading cause of death in America?

Obesity and nicotine. Some of the most common causes of damage to the arteries of the heart (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes), are due to obesity, which is epidemic in the U.S. at this time. Another cause, nicotine use, is also a continuing problem. There are other contributing factors to heart disease also, such as inherited tendencies and lupus, but the obesity-related factors & nicotine=answer.
CAD plus. Heart disease is a broad category of any condition that affects the heart. The most common condition and the condition that is the leading cause of death is coronary artery disease. This is a condition in which the blood vessels on the surface of the heart which bring blood to the heart muscle develop blockages. When these coronary arteries become blocked the result can be a heart attack.
Too general. Gabrielle- that is too general a question as the heart is a VERY complex organ that can be subject to multiple forms of disease. therefore, you need to focus your question on a more specific topic. Sorry I couldn't help further.
See below. Heart disease includes: coronary artery disease,congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac rhythm abnormalities, etc. More than half of heart deaths are due to coronary artery disease(CAD). Factors contributing to CAD:family history,smoking,obesity,cholesterol, high BP, diabetes,lack of exercise, the typical American diet. A plant based diet protects against developing CAD.

Related Questions

What to do if heart disease is the leading cause of death where?

Lifestyle changes. Don't smoke; exercise goal 4-5 days/week 30-45 min/day; limit alcohol; eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods.and choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol; limit your stress. See your primary provider regularly. Read more...

My friend told me that heart disease is now the number one cause of death for women. Is this true?

Yes. Dr. Fenster is correct. For tips on exercise and diet and prevention of heart disease, women and those who care about them can check out and support http://www.Goredforwomen.Org/betteru/index.Aspx and thanks for asking this important question. Read more...
YES. Heart disease is the leading of cause of death for men and for women. Most women when given the consideration would list breast cancer. Yet heart disease kills more women than the top 4 cancers combined. Read more...

I can't stop chewing the inside of my mouth and I have peridontal disease is this dangerous with heart disease the cause if my dads death?

Multiple issues. First if your dad died of a heart attack at a young. Age then your at risk regardless of your gums. You need to make sure you follow up for regular physicals with complete labs. Follow a healthy life syle and exercise regularly. Your teeth and gums should be evaluated by your dentist. There has been an association with CAD and gingivitis so getting this taken care is a good idea. Read more...
Periodontal disease. Periodontal disease should not be taken lightly. New studies have indicated increased problems with many vital organs, including your heart. Have it treated. You are young and you need a healthy mouth to live a healthy life. Read more...

How exactly does progeria cause heart disease?

Abnormal protein. Progeria is still being researched, but it is thought that there is a mutation in the lmna gene, which is responsible for making a protein called lamin a. An abnormal protein is produced instead, called progerin. Even normal people have a small amount of progerin, which increases as they age. Progerin affects the smooth muscles of the arteries, causing atherosclerosis and heart disease. Read more...
Abnormal metabolism. The accelerated aging syndrome known as progeria truly accelerates the patients aging and illness profile.Their metabolism is marked by the same abnormalities in cholesterol and fat metabolism in childhood as that seen in adult stroke and heart attack victims.Most succumb to complications of coronary heart disease as early as their teens. Read more...

What are death rates of congenital heart disease?

Variable. This varies quite a bit with the chd under consideration. If you have a specific one in mind, please submit a new question with that in mind. Read more...