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Health Information for the Public

Cristina Tells Us What She Learned About Heart Disease

What is heart disease?

Heart disease develops over many years. It happens when the blood vessels going to the heart
become narrow and clogged. A heart attack can happen when these blood vessels are clogged.

Normal Artery Clogged Artery

What are risk factors?

Risk factors are traits and habits that make you more likely to get heart disease. You can do
something about some risk factors and others you cannot change.

Cristina says: "Now that I know my risk factors, I take steps to lower my risk."

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIH Publication No. 08-6351
June 2008

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