The term heart disease is a very broad term. Problems can arise within the heart muscle, arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle, or valves inside the heart that pump blood in the right direction. Understanding the differences between each heart disease can help with the confusing applications of the term heart disease.
Coronary artery disease or CAD is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in both sexes in the US. UU. Coronary artery disease affects the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. These coronary arteries harden and narrow due to the accumulation of a fatty substance of waxy cholesterol, known as plaque.
This accumulation of plaque is known as atherosclerosis. The increase in plaque buildup causes the coronary arteries to narrow. This will cause blood flow to be restricted, decreasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart muscle. Decreasing the amount of oxygen supplied to the heart muscle can cause angina (chest pain) and cause a heart attack. Coronary artery disease over time can weaken the heart muscle and contribute to heart failure and arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms).
Coronary heart disease is another confusing type of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is not the same as coronary artery disease. While coronary artery disease refers to coronary arteries, coronary artery disease refers to coronary artery diseases and the resulting complications. This includes complications such as chest pain, a heart attack and scar tissue caused by the heart attack. Understanding this subtle difference between the two can impress your cardiologist.
Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy can be genetic or caused by a viral infection. Cardiomyopathy can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary cardiomyopathy is attributed to a specific cause (hypertension, congenital heart defects, valvulopathy). Secondary cardiomyopathy is attributed to specific causes (diseases that affect other organs).
There are three main types of cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the enlargement and stretching of the heart muscle. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes thickening of the heart muscle. Restrictive cardiomyopathy causes the ventricles of the heart to become excessively rigid, which makes blood flow to the ventricles difficult between heartbeats.
Valvular heart disease is a disease that affects the valves of the heart. The valves inside the heart keep the blood flowing in the right direction. Damage to the valves can be caused by a variety of conditions that lead to regurgitation or insufficiency (leaking valve), prolapse (incorrect valve closure) or stenosis (narrowing of the valve). Valvular heart disease can be genetic. Valvular heart disease can also be caused by certain infections such as rheumatic fever and certain medications or radiation treatments for cancer.
The pericardium is a sac that encompasses the heart. Pericardial disease is inflammation (pericarditis), stiffness (constrictive pericarditis) or fluid accumulation (pericardial effusion) of the pericardium. Pericardial disease can be caused by many things, such as occurring after a heart attack.
Congenital heart disease is a form of heart disease that develops before birth. Congenital heart disease is an extremely broad term. However, these diseases usually affect the formation of the heart muscle, the chambers or the valves. Some examples include coarctation or narrowing of a section of the aorta; Interatrial or ventricular communication is known as holes in the heart. Congenital heart disease should be classified more accurately as an inborn defect that occurs in about 1% of births. Congenital heart disease can be inherited (inheritance) or be caused by certain infections such as German measles contracted during pregnancy. However, researchers are currently studying factors that can cause congenital heart disease.
Heart failure is another type of heart disease characterized by the inability of the heart to effectively pump enough blood to the organs and tissues of the body. When the body’s vital organs do not receive enough blood flow, certain signs and symptoms may appear, such as difficulty breathing, fatigue and fluid retention. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure that leads to fluid accumulation in the body. It is important to keep in mind that not all heart failure is congestive. Heart failure may be the result of other cardiovascular diseases such as cardiomyopathy or coronary heart disease. Heart failure may appear suddenly or develop over many years.
February is the national heart disease awareness month. However, awareness of heart disease should be every day. With amazing statistics, awareness begins with the understanding of the different types of heart disease. A diet and lifestyle conducive to heart health can mean the difference between life and be a statistic.