Back to Top Skip to main content

Heart Health

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) — including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure — is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. 

  • Heart disease is a term that includes several more specific heart conditions. 
  • The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attack.

Know Your Risk!

Risk factors for heart disease and stroke include:

  • High blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels
  • Smoking
  • Inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity

Taken together, these major risk factors account for around 80% of deaths from heart disease and stroke. The only way to know your level of risk is to be assessed by a healthcare professional and to be checked for factors such as your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, waist measurement and BMI. Once you know your overall risk, agree with your health care professional on a plan for specific actions you should take to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.

You also may be interested in...

Experts dish out 9 tips for heart health

Article
2/28/2020
Naturally occurring phytochemicals in plants provide color, aroma, and flavor to fruits and vegetables. Different colors provide different nutrients, so eating a range of colors is essential for heart health. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Gonzales)

Earlier this month, the MHS showed why heart health is important; Here is how you look out for yours

Recommended Content:

Heart Health

Listen to your heart in February with Total Force Fitness

Article
2/6/2020
Navy Lt. Karl Yves Marie Grand Pierre, a physician assistant at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay, Georgia, checks Seaman Ashley Jackett’s heart. DoD recommends that all service members and beneficiaries do just that: listen to your heart and build healthy heart habits. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel, Naval Hospital Jacksonville)

Heart health is key to a medically ready military force; the Military Health System looks at this subject through the Total Force Fitness framework

Recommended Content:

Heart Health

MHS raises awareness of heart health on National Wear Red Day

Article
2/4/2020
National Wear Red Day helps raise awareness of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Join us for National Wear Red Day, Friday, Feb. 7. Wear red, snap a photo with your family and friends, and share it on social media using the hashtag #WearRedDay. (MHS photo)

Dress for success (a healthy heart) Friday Feb. 7

Recommended Content:

Heart Health

Is exercise that’s too intensive resulting in your angina?

Article
4/8/2019
Navy Hospitalman Kiana Bartonsmith checks a patient’s heart rate at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay in Georgia, one of Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s six health care facilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Angina is experienced as a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest that can also radiate out to your neck, jaw, back or shoulders

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health

Sudden cardiac death in young athletes

Article
3/7/2019
High school basketball requires skill and rigorous training. In rare but highly publicized cases, it can also bring cardiac issues to the surface. (U.S. Army photo by Chuck Gannon)

Sudden cardiac events can occur in seemingly healthy young people in their teens or twenties, including young servicemembers

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health

Too much pressure: Hypertension a leading cause of heart disease

Article
3/5/2019
Navy Lt. Xin Wu, a nurse from Expeditionary Medical Facility Bethesda in Maryland, checks a patient's blood pressure at a health care clinic set up by the Air Guard and Navy Reserve at a high school in Beattyville, Kentucky. The clinic was part of a mission to train military medical personnel while offering free health care to Eastern Kentucky residents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Dale Greer)

Healthy lifestyle now can help prevent disorder later

Recommended Content:

Heart Health

Focus on heart-healthy diet is perfect fit for February

Article
2/22/2019
Changing your eating habits doesn't have to be drastic to be effective. When registered dietitians and other health professional talk about a "heart-healthy" diet, it generally means to increase the amount of fiber in one's diet, reduce saturated fats and reduce salt. (DoD photo)

With the typical American diet and lifestyle, many people put themselves at risk for developing various heart diseases

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Nutrition

Taking care of your heart with TRICARE benefits

Article
2/19/2019
February is nationally recognized as American Heart Month, a time for the Department of Defense community to show its love for healthy living.

Getting preventive screenings now could save your life tomorrow

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Preventive Health

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016

Infographic
6/19/2017
Did you know  … ? In 2016, essential hypertension accounted for 52,586 encounters for health care among 29,612 active component service members in the U.S. Armed Forces. Of all cardiovascular diseases, essential hypertension is by far the most common specific condition diagnosed among active duty service members. Untreated hypertension increases the risks of subsequent ischemic heart disease (heart attack), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), and kidney failure. CHART: Healthcare burdens attributable to cardiovascular diseases, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016 Major condition: •	For all other cardiovascular the number of medical encounters was 70,781, Rank 29, number of individuals affected was 35,794 with a rank of 30. The number of bed days was 4,285 with a rank of 21. •	For essential hypertension the number of medical encounters was 52,586, rank 35, number of individuals affected was 29,612 with a rank of 35. The number of bed days was 151 with a rank of 86. •	For cerebrovascular disease the number of medical encounters was 7,772, rank 79, number of individuals affected was 1,708, with a rank of 96. The number of bed days was 2,107 with a rank of 32. •	For ischemic heart disease the number of medical encounters was 6,629, rank 83, number of individuals affected 2,399 with a rank of 87. The number of bed days was 1,140 with a rank of 42. •	For inflammatory the number of medical encounters was 2,221, rank 106, number of individuals affected 1,302 with a rank of 97. The number of bed days was 297 with a rank of 72. •	For rheumatic heart disease the number of medical encounters was 319, rank 125, number of individuals affected 261, with a rank of 121. The number of bed days was 2 with a rank of 133. Learn more about healthcare burdens attributable to various diseases and injuries by visiting Health.mil/MSMRArchives. #LoveYourHeart Infogaphic graphic features transparent graphic of a man’s heart illuminated within his chest.

This infographic documents healthcare burdens attributable to cardiovascular diseases among active component, U.S. Armed Forces in 2016.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health | Heart Health

Heart Disease and Its Effects on Service Members

Infographic
6/8/2016
infographic about heart disease and its effect on service members

Cardiovascular disease comprises disorders of the heart and circulatory system including coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. This infographic provides data on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease among military members base on diagnostic codes in the electronic health records of service members during a 10-year surveillance period.

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Heart Health

The ABC's of Heart Health

Infographic
2/22/2016
ABC's of Heart Health Infographic

Bring awareness to the risks of heart disease and ways to stay heart healthy.

Recommended Content:

Heart Health

Take Charge of Your Heart Health

Infographic
2/16/2016
Infographic for Heart Health Month about Regular Checkups

Take Charge of Your Heart Health with Regular Checkups

Recommended Content:

Heart Health

Keep Your Heart Healthy This Valentine's Day

Infographic
2/11/2016
Keep Your Heart Healthy this Valentine's Day

4 ways to keep your heart healthy this Valentine's Day

Recommended Content:

Heart Health

Be Heart Smart

Infographic
2/1/2016
Be Heart Smart Infographic

Be More Active, Avoid Tobacco, Choose Better Nutrition

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Preventive Health
Showing results 1 - 14 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.