What Are the Types of Heart Disease?
The term "heart diseases" or "cardiovascular diseases" refers to diseases of the heart and the blood vessel system within it. There are more then 50 different types, the most common being
- Heart chambers - the left and right atrium and ventricles
- Heart muscle itself - myocardium
- Heart valves - bicuspid, tricuspid, semilunar and pulmonary valves
- Coronary arteries and coronary veins - the ascending and descending arteries and veins
- Electrical system - impulses released by the heart to function
- Heart lining - pericardium
The types of heart disease include:
Atherosclerosis is a buildup of cholesterol, calcium and blood clotting material on the walls of the arteries. The material that builds up is called plaque.
Cardiac arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm.
Cardiomyopathy is a weakened and enlarged heart muscle.
Congenital heart defect is a problem with the structure of the heart.
Coronary artery disease is a narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply the heart.
Heart attack (myocardial infarction) is a lack of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart has been damaged from a heart attack or other type of heart disease.
Heart valve disorder is a malfunctioning heart valve that causes abnormal stress on the heart.
Myocarditis is an infection of the middle layer of the heart wall.
Pericarditis is an infection of the lining that surrounds the heart.
Symptoms of heart disease can differ depending on the type and severity of heart disease and individual factors. One well-known symptom of heart disease is chest pain, but not all chest pain is caused by heart disease.
In addition, not all people who have heart disease experience chest pain. Some people even have a heart attack without having chest pain. By the time a person experiences chest pain, he or she may have had a form of heart disease, such as atherosclerosis, for many years.
It is common for a person with certain types of heart disease, such as atherosclerosis, not to have noticeable symptoms until complications occur. The only definite way to detect heart disease in its earliest, most treatable stage is through regular medical care that includes comprehensive evaluations from a licensed physician or health care professional.
Tips and comments:
Left untreated, heart disease can result in serious complications, such as lethal cardiac arrhythmias, severe heart failure, cardiac arrest, and death. Some complications can occur suddenly and require immediate treatment. Immediate emergency treatment best minimizes the risk of complications.
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