Heart illness encompasses all conditions that affect the heart. There are numerous varieties, and some are preventable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading cause of mortality in the United States is cardiovascular disease. Around one-fourth of deaths in the United States are caused by heart disease, which affects people of all races and ethnicities.
Learn more about the forms, causes, and symptoms of heart disease in this article. Additionally, this page discusses risk factors and treatment.
Heart illness encompasses any ailment that affects the cardiovascular system. There are numerous types of heart disease, each of which affects the heart and blood arteries in a unique manner.
The sections that follow examine several types of cardiac disease in greater depth.
The most prevalent form of heart disease is coronary artery disease, often known as coronary heart disease.
It occurs when the blood-supplying arteries to the heart get clogged with plaque. This causes them to solidify and contract. Plaque is composed of cholesterol and other compounds.
Consequently, the blood supply is diminished, and the heart receives less oxygen and nutrients. The heart muscle weakens over time, increasing the risk of heart failure and arrhythmias.
Plaque accumulation in the arteries is known as atherosclerosis. Plaque in the arteries can rupture as a result of obstructions, stopping blood flow, which can result in a heart attack.
Congenital heart malformations
A congenital heart defect is a disorder with the heart that is present at birth. There are numerous types of congenital heart problems, including the following:
Congenital heart disease can involve significant anatomical abnormalities, such as the absence of a ventricle or abnormal connections between the main arteries that exit the heart.
Many congenital heart abnormalities are asymptomatic and are only detected during standard medical examinations.
According to the American Cardiac Association (AHA), heart murmurs are common in youngsters, but only a minority are caused by an anomaly.
The term arrhythmia describes an erratic heartbeat. It occurs when the electrical impulses responsible for coordinating the heartbeat do not function properly. Due to this, the heart may beat excessively rapidly, too slowly, or irregularly.
There are numerous forms of arrhythmias, which include:
A person may experience a sensation similar to a fluttering or racing heart.
In certain instances, arrhythmias can be fatal or have serious repercussions.
Cardiomyopathy with dilated cardiomyocytes
In dilated cardiomyopathy, the heart chambers enlarge, which causes the heart muscle to stretch and thin. Heart attacks, arrhythmias, and toxins are the most prevalent causes of dilated cardiomyopathy, but genetics can also play a role.
As a result, the heart weakens and cannot effectively pump blood. It can cause arrhythmia, cardiac clotting, and heart failure.
According to the American Heart Association, it typically affects adults aged 20–60.
Myocardial infarction, sometimes known as a heart attack, is the cessation of blood flow to the heart. This can harm or kill cardiac muscle tissue.
In a coronary artery, plaque, a blood clot, or both are the leading cause of heart attacks. It can also result from an abrupt constriction or spasm of an artery.
When a person develops heart failure, the heart continues to function, but not as efficiently as it should. Congestive heart failure is a form of heart failure that can result from malfunctions in the pumping or relaxing functions.
Untreated coronary artery disease, excessive blood pressure, arrhythmias, and other disorders can lead to heart failure. These diseases may impair the heart’s capacity to pump or rest effectively.
Heart failure can be fatal, but early detection and treatment of heart-related diseases can avert complications.
Hypertrophic myocardial hypertrophy
This illness is typically caused by a genetic defect affecting the heart muscle. It is typically a hereditary condition.
Muscle walls get thicker, and contractions become more intense. This impairs the heart’s capacity to receive and pump blood. In certain instances, an obstruction may arise.
There may be no symptoms, and many individuals are not diagnosed. However, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can deteriorate with time and result in a variety of heart conditions.
Those with a family history of this disorder should request a screening, as treatment can avert problems.
According to the American Heart Association, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of cardiac death among young people and athletes under the age of 35.
Mitral valve regurgitation
This condition arises when the mitral valve in the heart fails to close completely, allowing blood to flow back into the heart.
As a result, blood cannot travel efficiently through the heart or body, and it might exert pressure on the heart’s chambers. Over time, the heart can expand, leading to heart failure.
Mitral valve prolapse
This occurs when the mitral valve’s valve flaps do not seal properly. They protrude instead into the left atrium. This could result in a heart murmur.
The prolapse of the mitral valve is typically not fatal. However, some individuals may require therapy.
This disorder, which affects roughly 2% of the population, can be caused by genetic factors and connective tissue issues.
The pulmonary valve is bulky or fused and does not open properly in aortic stenosis. This makes it difficult for the left ventricle to flow blood into the aorta.
It might be present at birth due to congenital abnormalities of the valve, or it can develop over time due to calcium deposits or scarring.
The symptoms of heart disease vary depending on the type of patient you have. Additionally, certain heart disorders have no symptoms.
Nevertheless, the following signs may suggest a cardiac problem:
Symptoms of a congenital cardiac problem in children may include cyanosis, a bluish tint to the skin, and an inability to exercise.
A heart attack can result in cardiac arrest, a condition in which the heart stops beating and the body ceases to function. If a person exhibits any symptoms of a heart attack, they require emergency medical care.