Heart Disease


Heart disease or CVD refers to a variety of different conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. Common heart problems include coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Aurora Health Care offers coordinated care for preventing, diagnosing and treating heart and vascular disease. World-renowned heart and vascular specialists diagnose and treat all types of cardiovascular diseases and disorders, using the most advanced state-of-the-art tools and technologies available today.

And with 15 hospitals and 155 clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois, it’s easy to get convenient, coordinated, expert heart disease care close to home.

Risk Factors

You’re more likely to develop heart problems if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Are inactive
  • Are diabetic
  • Eat lots of high-fat foods
  • Smoke
  • Have high cholesterol

Your heart disease risk factors can increase as you age, and when you’re feeling stressed or depressed. Risk also tends to be higher if you have familial heart disease (heart disease that runs in your family).


Some heart problems, like hypertension, cause no heart disease symptoms. Others may trigger common symptoms like:

  • Chest pain (angina) or discomfort
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue or a change in exercise tolerance
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Heart murmur
  • Heart palpitations
  • Swelling in your ankles, feet or abdomen
  • Unexplained shortness of breath
  • Weight gain caused by water retention

If you have any of these symptoms, or if you think you might have heart disease, talk with your Aurora Health Care doctor.


The most common type of cardiovascular disease or CVD is coronary artery disease. This condition happens when fatty deposits called plaque build up in the arteries that supply blood to your heart. This makes it hard for oxygen-rich blood to get through them.

In addition to coronary artery disease, other common heart diseases include:


To diagnose heart disease and other heart problems, your doctor will perform a physical exam, ask about your symptoms, and discuss your heart disease risk factors. He or she may also order diagnostic tests to help determine the specific issue.

Services & Treatment

If you’re diagnosed with heart disease, your doctor will work with you on a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs and focused on cutting-edge heart disease care. Your plan may include medication as well as lifestyle changes to help you protect your health and your future. Based on your condition, surgery may also be recommended. After surgery, we offer full-service rehabilitation to get you back on the road to recovery.

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