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Illustration of a heart

Your heart's job is to move blood and oxygen through your body. It is a muscular pump with four chambers. During each heartbeat, blood travels from your heart to the rest of your body in arteries. Your body's cells remove oxygen and nutrients from the blood. The blood then travels back to your heart through veins. An electrical system keeps your heart beating at a regular rate. Between the chambers, four valves open to allow blood through and close to prevent blood from flowing backward.

Several types of problems can develop in your heart and affect how the heart works. You can have valve problems. You can develop problems in the blood vessels that bring blood to your heart and other organs. You can also have heart rhythm problems when your heart's electrical system malfunctions. 

Most heart disease risk depends on a person's lifestyle habits. Quitting smoking, exercising, staying at a healthy weight, managing stress​ and eating a healthy diet are great ways to engage in heart disease prevention. By lowering your heart disease risk, you can avoid heart disease treatments like bypass surgery, heart valve replacement, and pacemaker placement.

Heart disease can have many forms; two of the most common are heart attack and heart failure. Learn more about these heart ailments, as follows:

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