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Diagnosing & Treating Heart Disease


Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, describes a range of conditions affecting how your heart and it’s functions. Heart disease conditions include heart defects diagnosed at birth (congenital), irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), and blood vessel diseases that cause chest pain (angina) or stroke

Heart conditions are the leading cause of death in the U.S., so it’s important to seek treatment.

Find a Doctor online at Dignity Health today for personal care. You can also take our online heart risk assessment to learn more about your heart health.

Types of Heart Disease

Cardiologists at Dignity Health care for a range of heart conditions, including:

What Causes Heart Disease?

Heart disease has many causes. The most common risk factor is a buildup of fatty plaque inside your arteries, often due to:

  • An unhealthy diet 
  • Being overweight
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking

Heart Disease Symptoms

Heart disease symptoms vary widely. You may not have any, or you may experience a nagging wet cough. Getting the treatment you need ensures you catch heart disease early, when it’s most treatable.

Many heart disease symptoms are vague and subtle. While you might first think of chest pain, there are a number of other common symptoms of heart disease, including:

  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Backache
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Swelling in the feet and ankles
  • Wet cough

Diagnosing Heart Disease in the Bay Area

When diagnosing heart disease, Dignity Health doctors take your medical and health history and risk factors into consideration. In addition to a physical exam, they may suggest:

  • Blood tests to check cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • Cardiac catheterization, or X-rays that look inside your heart
  • Chest X-ray, which takes a photo of your heart
  • Echocardiogram, which looks at your moving heart
  • EKG, which shows the rate and rhythm of your heartbeat 
  • Stress testing, which shows whether your heart can tolerate increased stress

Dignity Health hospitals in the Bay Area offer diagnostic testing at:

Heart Disease Treatments

Our team of cardiologists at Dignity Health offer quality, personalized care for heart disease in the Bay Area. It may include medications, lifestyle changes, and medical procedures. The goal is to correct physical problems, reduce risk factors, relieve symptoms, and prevent complications. 

Our cardiologists will work with you to design a personalized treatment plan addressing your physical, mental, and spiritual needs. Talk to your doctor today to get started.

Dignity Health offers comprehensive care for all types of heart disease in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.