What is heart disease?
Heart disease is a condition of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. When an artery becomes blocked, it can cause a heart attack by preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Heart disease is one of several cardiovascular diseases, which are diseases of the heart and blood vessel system. Others include stroke, angina, rheumatic heart disease, and high blood pressure. There are things you can do to prevent heart disease.
Types of heart disease.
The most common types of heart disease include:
- Aneurysm A bulged or weakened blood vessel that can rupture.
- Angina Pain in the chest caused by reduced blood supply to the heart.
- Arrhythmia An irregular heartbeat.
- Atherosclerosis Caused by fatty deposit buildup in vessels, restricting blood flow.
- Cerebrovascular disease Impedes flow of blood to the brain.
- Congenital heart disease Malformation of the heart’s structures at birth.
- Coronary artery disease Caused by narrowing arteries and blockage of blood vessels supplying the heart; leads to angina or heart attack.
- Heart attackMyocardial infarction, caused by stoppage of blood supply to the heart.
- Heart failure A chronic condition that happens when heart muscles are too damaged to adequately pump blood throughout the body.
- Hypertension High blood pressure that can scar, narrow, or harden arteries.
- Inflammatory heart disease Caused by infection or toxins; inflames heart muscles.
- Ischemic heart disease Caused by narrowing of the arteries, decreasing blood supply to the heart.
- Pericardial disease Inflammation or fluid accumulation around the sac that encases the heart.
- Peripheral arterial disease Caused by atherosclerosis, resulting in pain in the legs.
- Rheumatic heart disease Caused by rheumatic fever; damages heart valves.
- Stroke Caused by interrupted blood supply to the brain, depriving the brain of oxygen.
- Transient ischemic attack Brief blockage of blood to the brain, causing temporary numbness or weakness.
- Valvular heart disease Caused by infection or rheumatic fever, narrowing of valves, leakage, or improper closure.
There are things you can do to prevent heart disease.
Making better choices and understanding your risks can go a long way in helping you avoid the conditions related to heart disease — such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.Learn more