Jefferson University Hospitals

What Is Heart Disease?

Your heart continuously supplies blood and oxygen throughout your body, weighs about 10.5 ounces, and on average, beats about 72 times a minute. In other words:

  • 100,000 times a day
  • 3,600,000 times a year
  • 2,500,000,000 times during a lifetime

Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body, and never takes a break as long as you’re alive. When you don’t show your heart some love, fats, cholesterol, and other substances build up on the walls of the arteries and can increase your risk of heart disease.

Heart disease includes a range of conditions that affect your heart, such as a coronary artery disease (the most common form), high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrest, and congenital heart defects. Not only is heart disease the leading cause of death in both men and women, but also the costs associated with it are staggering - and still growing.

Heart disease accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the United States.

1 million people will have a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease this year.

Do You Know the ABC's of Heart Health?


Personal Heart Disease Stories

It's one thing to read about the shocking facts and statistics on heart disease. It's another to learn about people diagnosed with the condition. We offer these touching stories from heart disease survivors.

Bobby – Congestive Heart Failure

bobby-aita-75A singer, Bobby's booming voice was losing its strength due to shortness of breath from congestive heart failure. Although he was being treated for his condition, he just didn't feel his best. At the Jefferson Heart Institute, Bobby worked with Dr. Raphael Bonita to get back on track. He started eating right, taking appropriate medications, received a pacemaker and now works closely with Dr. Bonita and the Jefferson Heart Institute team to maintain his health.Read more of Bobby's story


Christine – Four Blockages in Her Heart Arteries


Christine didn't feel quite right. She had no appetite and lost over 50 pounds over six months. She didn't have sharp chest pain or shortness of breath. But what she remembers most is being tired. While at Jefferson, Christine had a coronary CT angiography of the heart arteries. The results uncovered four blockages in her heart arteries. If the blockages had not been found, she could have had a heart attack.Read more of Christine's story

Make an Appointment with a Cardiologist

Want to know your risk factors for heart disease or get a routine screening?

Call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) to make an appointment.