Heart Disease is one of the greatest health challenges facing industrialized countries today. It's the No. 1 killer of Americans and a leading cause of disability, according to the American Heart Association.
Medical experts are continuing to learn about risk factors for heart disease, as well as develop new diagnostic tools and treatments. But prevention is also key in any attempt to improve the health outcomes.
In the case of heart disease, many prevention strategies are simple ways to live a healthier life: What you eat, whether you smoke, and how much you exercise will affect your risk for heart disease.
Other leading health problems in the U.S. -- including obesity and diabetes -- only add to the risk of developing heart disease. Those at high risk, or those who already live with heart disease, require access to quality healthcare posing a challenge to policy makers and public health experts.
Yet there is good news. Organizations are continually funding research and health programs to prevent, treat, and understand heart disease. Here are a few selected links to those resources.
American Heart Association: The American Heart Association is a national, non-profit organization that provides information on care, research and prevention for all aspects of heart health.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health, the primary federal agency for medical research. The NHLBI supports research and educational projects for heart, lung, and blood diseases and disorders.
The World Health Organization - The Atlas of Heart Disease: The Atlas of Heart Disease is a reference designed to address the global impact of heart disease and stroke. The Atlas was prepared by the World Health Organization, an international organization that provides leadership in health research and policy.
World Heart Federation: The World Heart Federation is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the prevention and control of heart disease and stroke.
Heart Rhythm Society: The Heart Rhythm Society is an professional group dedicated to education, advocacy, and connecting doctors and patients.
Sudden Arrhythmia Deaths Syndromes Foundation: The SADS Foundation is involved in public education on the dangers of cardiac arrhythmias, particularly for children and their families.
CDC Heart Disease: An information and resource site on heart disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention: A resource site on heart disease and stroke, two often-linked health hazards, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NIH Heart Disease: The NIH's resource site on heart disease.
NIH Heart Disease Prevention: The NIH's resource site on preventing heart disease.
AHA Arrhythmias: The American Heart Association's resource site on arrhythmias.
AHA High Blood Pressure: The American Heart Association's resource site on high blood pressure.
NIH High Blood Pressure: The National Institutes of Health's resource site on high blood pressure.