Educational Materials for Patients

Key Definitions

  • Heart disease refers to several different types of heart conditions.
  • Coronary artery disease is a type of heart disease that occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
  • Plaque is made up of cholesterol deposits, which can accumulate in your arteries.
  • Atherosclerosis is a condition that occurs when too much plaque builds up in your arteries, causing them to narrow.
  • Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body. High levels in the blood can lead to heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s use of insulin. Insulin tells the body to remove sugar from the blood. People with diabetes either don’t make enough insulin, can’t use their own insulin as well as they should, or both.
  • Obesity is excess body fat.

Know the Facts About Heart Disease

This full-color, easy-to-read handout describes the risk factors, signs and symptoms, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease.

Fact Sheets

Other Resources

The following Web sites include government health links and resources about heart disease—