The term heart disease is often interchanged with the term cardiovascular disease. It generally refers to the conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. By controlling high blood pressure, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and by maintaining low cholesterol levels heart diseases can be prevented.
Diagnosis and symptoms include cardiac catherization, cardiac MRI, picturing the heart, a CT scan, a coronary angiography, stress testing, echocardiography, nuclear heart scan, etc. Treatment for heart valve problems include medications, heart valve surgery and for heart attack medications like clot busters should be administered as soon as possible, coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
In the Netherlands, chronic diseases accounted for 88% of all deaths in 2002 (see chart, right). ? Total deaths in the Netherlands, 2002 = 139,000. Total deaths related to chronic disease in the Netherlands, 2002 = 124,000. In the Netherlands alone, an estimated 730,000 persons are currently diagnosed with coronary heart disease, 120,000 with heart failure, and 260,000 with atrial fibrillation.