Heart Disease Center

Types of Heart Disease

Heart disease
Cardiovascular disease is one of the major causes of death throughout the world. Statistical reports indicate that heart disease is one of the top leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States; approximately 40% of all deaths in the US involve some sort of heart disease condition. What are some of the characteristics or types of heart disease? Read on to discover more.

What is heart disease?
The term "heart disease" can be used to describe any disorder of the cardiovascular system that involves the heart and blood vessels. When the heart and/or blood vessels are compromised, they cannot function normally. Heart disease goes by many other names as well. These other names include cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), and coronary artery disease.

Types of heart disease

Atrial fibrillation - an irregular heartbeat characterized by a very rapid and irregular heartbeat which causes ineffective blood pumping within the heart

Coronary artery disease (CAD) - begins with a buildup of fatty deposits in the lining of the arteries that supply blood to the heart

Congenital heart disease - a type of defect or malformation in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occurs prior to birth

Endocarditis - an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart

Heart muscle disease - a type of progressive heart disease in which the heart is abnormally enlarged, thickened, and/or stiffened (loss of elasticity)

Heart valve disease - this type of heart disease occurs when the valves of the heart that control blood flow do not work the way they should; instead of flowing freely in a forward direction, backward leakage occurs

Irregular heart rhythm - an arrhythmia (this is also called dysrhythmia)

Marfan's syndrome - an inherited disease that affects the connective tissue

Miocarditis - an inflammation of the heart muscle

Pericardial disease - a disease of any of the layers of the pericardium, a thin fibrous membrane sac that surrounds the heart

Pericardial effusion - defines the presence of an abnormal amount and/or character of fluid that has developed n the pericardial space

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) - a sudden, unexpected death that is caused by loss of heart function when the electrical system to the heart malfunctions (sudden cardiac arrest); not a heart attack (myocardial infarction)

There are certain factors which can contribute to heart disease.  These are called "risk factors".  What conditions will put you more at risk of developing heart diseases?  Click here to learn more on what causes heart disease.

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