Heart and Vascular | UC Davis Health

Heart and Vascular Care

Our specialists use a team approach and the latest advances to treat all types of cardiovascular conditions, whether common or complex. We lead the field with effective treatments for what ails your heart.

Medically reviewed by Thomas Smith, M.D. on Dec. 18, 2023.

Female nurse listening with a stethoscope to male patient’s heart in a medical clinic

Proven Leaders in Heart Disease and Vascular Care

If you’re looking for the best possible partner to help you manage your cardiovascular disease, turn to the specialists at UC Davis Health. We’ve been pioneering treatments for heart and vascular diseases for decades. Our skilled and compassionate teams use leading-edge treatments — guided by research — to help you live life to the fullest.

Our Difference

Advanced Technology

Our state-of-the-art heart disease diagnosis, treatment and surgical capabilities ensure you receive top-notch care and excellent outcomes.

Personalized Approach

Our team believes in customized heart care for every patient who walks through our doors. We strive to know you and to help you.

Innovative Research

Our heart specialists are nationally recognized for their work on the next generation of technologies, therapies and surgical techniques.


What is Cardiovascular Disease?

Your heart pumps blood through your blood vessels to deliver oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body. Cardiovascular disease (also called heart disease) refers to a group of common conditions that occur when something goes wrong with the major blood vessels leading to your heart or brain.

Untreated, it can lead to serious conditions, such as heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia or stroke. The most common type of cardiovascular disease is coronary artery disease (CAD).

Common Types of Heart Disease

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Arteries are the body’s largest blood vessels. Heart attacks and strokes can occur when arteries that supply blood to the heart or brain become narrowed or blocked, also known as coronary artery disease.

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart muscle loses its ability to properly pump blood through your body.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Peripheral arterial disease occurs when the arteries supplying blood to the arms and legs become narrowed or blocked.


When the body’s blood vessels are damaged or unhealthy, weakened areas called aneurysms can develop. If these areas rupture (break apart), uncontrolled bleeding can be life-threatening.


Causes and Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease occurs when your blood cannot flow properly due to damaged or blocked major arteries.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Age and Genetics

Your risk for heart disease increases as you get older, especially after age 65. Having a family history of cardiovascular disease also increases your risk of developing the condition.

Other Risk Factors

Lifestyle habits, such as lack of exercise and poor nutrition, can affect your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Having other medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome may also increase your risk.

High Blood Pressure and Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels

Uncontrolled high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels put stress on the heart and lead to cardiovascular disease.


Smoking, vaping and using smokeless tobacco products can stiffen your blood vessels, which leads to plaque build-up. Too much plaque narrows or blocks major arteries leading to your heart or brain, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

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Awards and Recognitions
USNWR Best Hospital badge

Ranked among the nation’s best hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best hospital in cancer, cardiology, heart & vascular surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, ENT, geriatrics, neurology & neurosurgery, obstetrics & gynecology, and pulmonology & lung surgery.

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US News & World Report best Children’s Hospital badge

Ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best children’s hospital in diabetes & endocrinology, nephrology, and orthopedics*. (*Together with Shriners Children’s)

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USNWR best regional hospital badge

Ranked Sacramento’s #1 hospital

Ranked Sacramento’s #1 hospital by U.S. News, and high-performing in COPD, colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, hip fracture, hip replacement, kidney failure, leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma, lung cancer surgery, ovarian cancer surgery, pneumonia, prostate cancer surgery, stroke, TAVR, uterine cancer surgery, gastroenterology & GI surgery, and orthopedics.

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Magnet designation badge

The nation’s highest nursing honor

UC Davis Medical Center has received Magnet® recognition, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence.

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Chime acute badge

“Most Wired” for acute care

UC Davis Health has been recognized as a level 10 out of 10 in the Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

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Chime ambulatory badge

“Most Wired” for ambulatory care

UC Davis Health has been recognized as a level 10 out of 10 in the Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

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NCI badge

World-class cancer care

One of ~56 U.S. cancer centers designated “comprehensive” by the National Cancer Institute.

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A leader in health care equality

For the 13th consecutive year, UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader by the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization.

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