About Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease can refer to a number of conditions: Heart disease. Heart and blood vessel disease (also called heart disease) includes numerous problems, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. Jan 13, · The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects the blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack. What are the symptoms of heart disease?
The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease CADwhich affects the blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack.
When these events happen, symptoms may include 1. High blood pressurehigh blood cholesteroland smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. Learn about how heart disease and mental health disorders are related.
Cardiac rehabilitation rehab is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or some types of heart surgery. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes. A team of people may help you through cardiac rehab, including your health care team, exercise and nutrition specialists, physical therapists, and counselors or mental health professionals. Skip directly to what is a cardiovascular problem content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link.
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What is heart disease?
Feb 01, · Cardiomyopathyis a disease of your heart muscle, or myocardium. It gets stretched, thickened, or stiff. Your heart may get too weak to pump well. There are many possible causes of .
A buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries, or atherosclerosis ath-ur-o-skluh-ROE-sis can damage your blood vessels and heart. Plaque buildup causes narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain angina or stroke.
Coronary artery disease symptoms may be different for men and women. For instance, men are more likely to have chest pain. Women are more likely to have other signs and symptoms along with chest discomfort, such as shortness of breath, nausea and extreme fatigue.
You might not be diagnosed with coronary artery disease until you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. It's important to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss concerns with your doctor. Cardiovascular disease can sometimes be found early with regular evaluations.
Your heart may beat too quickly, too slowly or irregularly. Heart arrhythmia signs and symptoms can include:. Serious heart defects that you're born with congenital heart defects usually are noticed soon after birth. Heart defect signs and symptoms in children could include:. Less serious congenital heart defects are often not diagnosed until later in childhood or during adulthood.
Signs and symptoms of congenital heart defects that usually aren't immediately life-threatening include:. In early stages of cardiomyopathy, you may have no symptoms. As the condition worsens, symptoms may include:. Endocarditis is an infection that affects the inner lining of your heart chambers and heart valves endocardium.
Heart infection signs and symptoms can include:. The heart has four valves — the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves — that open and close to direct blood flow through your heart. Many things can damage your heart valves, leading to narrowing stenosis , leaking regurgitation or insufficiency or improper closing prolapse.
Depending on which valve isn't working properly, valvular heart disease signs and symptoms generally include:. Heart disease is easier to treat when detected early, so talk to your doctor about your concerns regarding your heart health. If you're concerned about developing heart disease, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to reduce your heart disease risk. This is especially important if you have a family history of heart disease.
If you think you may have heart disease, based on new signs or symptoms you're having, make an appointment to see your doctor. Heart disease causes depend on your specific type of heart disease. There are many different types of heart disease. To understand the causes of heart disease, it helps to understand how the heart works.
A normal heart has two upper and two lower chambers. The upper chambers, the right and left atria, receive incoming blood. The lower chambers, the more muscular right and left ventricles, pump blood out of your heart. The heart valves, which keep blood flowing in the right direction, are gates at the chamber openings.
Your heart is a pump. It's a muscular organ about the size of your fist, located slightly left of center in your chest. Your heart is divided into the right and the left sides. Four heart valves keep your blood moving the right way by opening only one way and only when they need to.
To work properly, the valves must be formed properly, must open all the way and must close tightly so there's no leakage. The four valves are:. Your heart's electrical wiring keeps it beating. Your heartbeat controls the continuous exchange of oxygen-rich blood with oxygen-poor blood. This exchange keeps you alive. If you have too many cholesterol particles in your blood, cholesterol may accumulate on your artery walls.
Eventually, deposits called plaque may form. The deposits may narrow or block your arteries. The plaque can also burst, causing a blood clot. A buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries atherosclerosis is the most common cause of coronary artery disease. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking, can lead to atherosclerosis. In a healthy person with a normal, healthy heart, it's unlikely for a deadly arrhythmia to develop without some outside trigger, such as an electrical shock or the use of illegal drugs.
However, in a heart that's diseased or deformed, the heart's electrical signals may not properly start or travel through the heart, making arrhythmias more likely to develop. Congenital heart defects usually develop while a baby is in the womb. Heart defects can develop as the heart develops, about a month after conception, changing the flow of blood in the heart.
Some medical conditions, medications and genes may play a role in causing heart defects. Heart defects can also develop in adults. As you age, your heart's structure can change, causing a heart defect. The cause of cardiomyopathy, a thickening or enlarging of the heart muscle, may depend on the type:.
A heart infection, such as endocarditis, is caused when germs reach your heart muscle. The most common causes of heart infection include:. Many things can cause diseases of your heart valves. You may be born with valvular disease, or the valves may be damaged by conditions such as:. Certain types of heart disease, such as heart defects, can't be prevented. However, the same lifestyle changes that can improve your heart disease can help you prevent it, including:.
Heart disease care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Don't delay your care at Mayo Clinic Schedule your appointment now for safe in-person care. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Request an appointment. Overview Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Heart diseases include: Blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease Heart rhythm problems arrhythmias Heart defects you're born with congenital heart defects Heart valve disease Disease of the heart muscle Heart infection.
Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Chambers and valves of the heart Open pop-up dialog box Close. Chambers and valves of the heart A normal heart has two upper and two lower chambers. Development of atherosclerosis Open pop-up dialog box Close. Development of atherosclerosis If you have too many cholesterol particles in your blood, cholesterol may accumulate on your artery walls.
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Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health? Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease Fact or Fiction? Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references What is cardiovascular disease? American Heart Association. Accessed Oct. Heart-healthy living. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Ferry AV, et al. Presenting symptoms in men and women diagnosed with myocardial infarction using sex-specific criteria.
Journal of the American Heart Association. Symptoms, diagnosis and monitoring of arrhythmia. Overview of congenital cardiovascular anomalies. Merck Manual Professional Version. Congenital heart defects. What is cardiomyopathy? What is heart inflammation? Heart failure. Accessed Nov.
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