Heart disease is a type of disease that affects one or more of the heart’s blood vessels. It can be categorized into different types depending on the cause of the illness. Some of these can also cause various kinds of heart disease. For instance, high blood pressure can lead to atherosclerosis, a type of plaque that can narrow the arteries, which can cause damage to the heart.
Blood Vessel Diseases
The vascular system comprises various blood vessels that move blood from the heart to the body’s other tissues. Usually, diseases of the blood vessels don’t cause symptoms until they have caused significant damage. Some factors that can raise the risk of developing vascular disease include smoking, a high saturated fat diet, and lack of exercise.
High blood pressure is a disease affecting the heart’s blood vessels. It can cause resistance to the heart’s work, leading to heart attack and stroke. One-third of adults in the US have high blood pressure. This condition is known to contribute to the development of other heart diseases.
A heart disease known as atherosclerosis is caused by the buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries. As the plaque grows, it can break off and block the streets, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
A common type of heart disease in the US is coronary artery disease. When this condition occurs, the artery that supplies the heart may become blocked or narrowed. Lots of people with this condition are unaware that they have it until they experience chest pain or a heart attack.
Another type of heart disease known as peripheral artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries that go beyond the heart. It can cause severe pain and block blood flow to the other tissues. If this condition reaches the head and neck arteries, it can lead to brain damage and stroke.
There is also an aneurysm caused by weakness in the wall of an artery that sticks out. It’s caused by various factors such as high cholesterol and hypertension. A ruptured aneurysm can be life-threatening.
Valvular Heart Problems
A heart valve can become incompetent or stenotic, which means it can’t close completely or completely open. A stenotic valve prevents blood from flowing through the heart as it cannot allow enough blood to flow through. On the other hand, an incompetent valve allows blood to flow back into the previous chamber.
Both incompetence and stenotic valve disorders can lead to ineffective heart pumping. Some people with the valvular disease are genetically susceptible to developing these conditions. Others have them because of various factors such as age, rheumatic fever, and radiation therapy for cancer.
The development of heart valve disorders can lead to cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease that can cause the heart muscle to become bigger and thicker. It can also promote blood clots and infection.
Electrical impulses power the heart. If the rhythm of the heart changes, it can lead to an ineffective heart rate, which is arrhythmia. Arrhythmia can be caused by damage to a part of the heart, such as the so-called SA node or the natural pacemaker. It can also be driven by abnormal impulses from another part of the body.
A fast-moving heartbeat known as tachycardia is referred to as a faster-than-normal heartbeat. On the other hand, a slower-than-normal heartbeat is called bradycardia.
High blood pressure and alcoholism are some of the factors that can trigger cardiomyopathy, which is a type of heart disease that can affect the heart muscle. It can also be inherited or caused by cancer.