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P1215 Women and Heart Disease

A1C test: A type of blood test used to determine whether blood sugar is in a healthy range. Angina: Symptoms that occur when the heart muscle can’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina often feels like pressure, tightness, or pain in the chest, arm, neck, shoulder or jaw. Angiogram: A special x-ray of blood vessels to see the amount of blockage. Angioplasty: A procedure to unclog blocked arteries, using a thin tube (catheter) with a balloon that inflates to open the artery. Arrhythmia: An abnormal (irregular) heart rhythm or rate. Artery: A blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. Atherosclerosis: Buildup of plaque in arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart, brain or parts of the body. It occurs when artery walls thicken and lose elasticity. Blood pressure: The amount of force blood exerts against the walls of your blood vessels. CABG (pronounced “cabbage”): Coronary artery bypass graft surgery. This surgery creates a new pathway for blood around narrowed arteries. Cholesterol: A fatty substance that can build up within artery walls. Some is made by the body; some enters the body through foods you eat. In people with heart disease, the level of cholesterol in the blood is often too high. Claudication: Refers to limping because of pain in the thigh, calf, and/or buttocks that occurs when walking. Claudication may be a symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Coronary arteries: The blood vessels that wrap around the heart. These supply the heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Coronary artery disease (CAD): A condition that occurs when the arteries that carry blood to the heart are narrowed. Also known as heart disease. Diabetes: A condition in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin to handle the sugar in the blood, or the body can’t use the insulin it makes, or both. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): A test that records the way electrical signals move through the heart. Glucose: A type of sugar that your body converts food into so your cells can use it for energy. HDL cholesterol: “Good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides from the blood. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. Heart disease: A disease in which damage to the heart or the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart keeps the heart from working properly. Heart failure: A condition that occurs when the heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Heart failure can be a result of heart disease, heart attack, or uncontrolled high blood pressure. High blood pressure (hypertension): A disease in which blood pushes with too much force against artery walls as it moves through the arteries. This damages the arteries over time. Insulin: A hormone that controls blood sugar in the body. With diabetes, either the body doesn’t make any insulin or it can’t effectively use the insulin it does make. Ischemia: Reduced blood supply to an organ or tissue, such as the heart or leg muscles. Ischemia in the heart can lead to angina. If it occurs in the leg muscles, claudication can occur. LDL cholesterol: “Bad” cholesterol that can cause plaque to build up in artery walls. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. Lipids: Fats and fatty substances carried in the bloodstream. The body needs lipids for energy. But lipid levels that are too high raise the chance of heart attack and stroke. Lipoprotein profile: A blood test usually done after you’ve fasted for 8-10 hours that tells how much total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are in your blood. Metabolic syndrome: A health problem that occurs when a person has three or more of the following: low HDL cholesterol; high triglycerides; high blood pressure; high blood sugar; extra weight around the waist. This syndrome puts you at extra high risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fat: A healthier type of dietary fat that may help lower your “bad” cholesterol level. Myocardial infarction (MI): Another term for heart attack. This occurs when the blood supply to the heart is cut off, resulting in permanent damage to the heart muscle. (The myocardium is the thick middle layer of the heart muscle.) Peripheral arterial disease (PAD): A type of vascular (blood vessel) disease that affects the arteries supplying blood to the legs. Plaque: Fatty deposits that build up inside the arteries and reduce blood flow. Polyunsaturated fat: The healthiest type of fat. It’s found in some oils (such as olive, peanut, and canola), nuts, seeds, and fish. Unsaturated fat can be good for your heart in moderate amounts. Pre-hypertension: Blood pressure that is higher than normal, but not high enough to be called high blood pressure (hypertension). Saturated fat: A type of fat that raises blood cholesterol. It’s mostly found in foods from animal sources, such as butter, lard, fatty cuts of beef, and high-fat dairy. This fat should be limited as much as possible because it’s bad for your heart. Silent heart attack: A heart attack without any symptoms; ischemia without pain. Also called a “silent MI” or “silent ischemia.” Stent: A tiny wire-mesh tube inserted into a blocked artery to help keep it open. Stroke: Occurs when blood flow is cut off by blockage or rupture in a blood vessel supplying the brain. Brain damage results. Trans fat: A type of fat found in French fries and other fast food, snack foods (such as chips and cookies), and some margarines and shortenings. This is the worst fat for your heart and should be avoided. Transient ischemic attack (TIA): A temporary blockage of blood supplying the brain, causing stroke-like symptoms. Triglycerides: A type of fat measured in the blood along with cholesterol. High triglyceride levels are a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. GLOSSARY abcardio.org 31


P1215 Women and Heart Disease
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