Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term that refers to any condition affecting the heart and blood vessels.

CVD is one of the leading causes of disease and death in the United States and worldwide. Many cardiovascular conditions result from the combined influence of modifiable (changeable) behaviors and risk factors. Among them, nutrition has a significant and documented impact on the development of CVD. Moreover, early intervention can reduce the likelihood of progressing to more advanced CVD conditions that may culminate in a heart attack or stroke.

Figure. Overview of Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Conditions.

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For information on the role of nutrients and dietary factors in various cardiovascular conditions and risk factors, see the separate disease topics:

Angina Pectoris




Congestive Heart Failure

Coronary Heart Disease

Endothelial Dysfunction

Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High Homocysteine

Intermittent Claudication in Peripheral Arterial Disease


High Triglycerides