What are the Most Common Heart Diseases?

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is any type of condition that affects the heart. It is a wide term that encompasses conditions ranging from blood vessel diseases to rhythm problems, and even includes congenital heart defects (abnormalities that a person is born with).

Is Heart Disease the Same as Cardiovascular Disease?

While these two terms are often used interchangeably, heart disease refers to conditions affecting the heart’s muscles, valves, or rhythm, while cardiovascular disease relates to the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels resulting in chest pain, a heart attack, or stroke. Which Heart Diseases are Most Widespread?

Among the numerous forms of heart disorders and defects, the five most common heart diseases are:

Coronary Heart Disease Arrhythmia Valvular Heart Disease
Aortic Aneurysms Heart Infections

What is Coronary Heart Disease?

Also known as CHD, coronary heart disease is a condition during which the heart’s blood supply is interrupted by the deposition of fatty substances which block the coronary arteries.

What are the Symptoms of CHD?

The symptoms of coronary heart disease are:

  • Angina (chest pain or a feeling of pressure or tightness on the chest)
  • Shortness of breath or dyspnea
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Palpitations (rapid or fluttering heartbeat)

What are the Medications for CHD Treatment?

  • Statins: These medications have shown positive results for patients suffering from CHD. But if the patient has another cholesterol-linked problem, statins might not be effective.
  • Beta Blockers: They can be used to reduce the heart rate and blood pressure of a person who has already suffered a heart attack due to CHD.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: These help to increase the diameter of the coronary arteries which allows an increase in blood flow to the heart.
  • ACE Inhibitors: It stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme. These lower the blood pressure of the body to stop the effects of CHD from increasing.

What is Arrhythmia?

A person suffering from this heart disease has too fast, too slow, or an irregular heartbeat. There are four main types of arrhythmia. These are:

Tachycardia Bradycardia Fibrillation Premature
  • Tachycardia: when the heart starts to beat too fast
  • Bradycardia: when the heart rate becomes very slow
  • Fibrillation: irregular pattern of heartbeats
  • Premature Ventricular Contractions: causes additional, abnormal heartbeats

What is Valvular Heart Disease?

The human heart consists of four different valves. Problems can develop in any of the valves causing this disease. Also, infections can cause damage to the valves of the heart over a period of time.

There are 6 types of valvular heart disease. These are:

What are the Symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease?

The general symptoms of valvular heart disease are:

  • Swelling in ankles
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Palpitations or chest pain
  • Dizziness or nausea

What is Aortic Aneurysm?

The aorta is a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body. The aortic aneurysm causes the aorta to enlarge and develop a bulge. This can happen due to prolonged high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, or inherited conditions or diseases. This disease can cause the aorta to burst, which can be fatal.

What are Heart Infections?

There are three main conditions that are caused by heart infections:

  • Pericarditis
  • Myocarditis
  • Endocarditis

Certain infections can cause direct damage to the heart. Some of the common types of infections affecting the heart are viruses, tuberculosis and in rare cases, bacteria. These infections can cause inflammation of the sac around the heart, leading to pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart).

Some types of viruses can attack the heart muscles, leading to the development of myocarditis. This is a type of swelling that weakens the heart muscles. Bacterial activity may lead to infection of the heart valves, causing endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valve).

What are the Healthy Habits to Prevent Heart Diseases?

  • Select a well-balanced diet and stick to it
  • Engage in regular physical activity
  • Quit smoking and avoid passive smoke
  • Get regular checkups
  • Learn stress management techniques to lower the risk of high blood pressure
  • Understand your family medical history and know the diseases that you are prone to