Heart Diseases Defined
Heart disease, also known as cardiac disease, is an extremely serious medical condition. Most people tend to believe heart disease is a condition other people have instead of them having the possible medical condition. The fact is heart disease is the leading killer in the United States. It is also the major cause for people to become disabled.
There are many types of heart disease. The most common type is blockage of the arteries, which is the main blood vessel supplying blood to the heart. This type is called coronary heart disease. It is a gradual process of the blockages yet it is the major reason for heart attacks.
The other types of heart diseases involve the valves in the heart where the heart has restricted pumping action leading to heart failure. Some people are born with this type of heart disease.
It is possible to reduce the risks of heart disease by taking steps to control the factors causing the risks. The steps to reduce the risks are controlling the blood pressure, lower the cholesterol levels, do not smoke, get plenty of exercise, avoiding fatty and unhealthy foods and beverages, avoiding stressful situations as much as possible, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Coronary arteriosclerosis (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease leading the deaths in the United Stated. It happens when the arteries supplying blood to the heart become hardened and narrowed due to the buildup of cholesterol and another material called plaque.
This leads to the heart muscle not getting enough blood or oxygen. This is the cause of angina or heart attack. Heart attacks occur when a blood clot cuts off the heart’s blood thus damaging the heart.
CAD also weakens the heart muscle and contributes to heart failure and arrhythmias. Heart failure is when the heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body. Arrhythmia is the changing of the normal heartbeat.
Heart failure also called cardiac failure and CHF or left-sided heart failure and right-sided heart failure is a condition where the heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body. Heart failure is when the heart stops or is about to stop.
The weakening of the heart’s pumps causes blood and fluid to backup into the lungs, fluid to buildup in the ankles, legs, and feet (this is called edema) and tiredness and shortness of breath.
The leading causes of heart failure are high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. The treatment for heart failure includes treating the cause of the heart failure, heart transplants, and medications. Heart failure is a very serious condition causing about 5 million people in the United States to have this condition and contributing to more than 400,000 deaths a year.