The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that since 1921, the leading cause of death in the US is cardiovascular disease, or more simply known as “heart disease.”
In this article, we will discuss the five most common heart diseases.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
The most common cardiovascular disease is coronary heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, around 15,500,000 people in the United States are affected by it.
Usually, it is brought about by atherosclerosis, a recurring condition wherein the walls of the arteries get blocked by deposits of fat called “plaque”, resulting in an obstructed flow of blood.
If plaque ruptures, it will cause blood clots inside the artery affected.
Such blood clots decrease the flow of blood to the heart even further, usually resulting in a heart attack.
Heart defects are congenital conditions wherein the heart didn’t properly develop while still inside the mother’s womb, resulting in some structural malformations.
The American Heart Association reports that approximately 8 out of every 1,000 births are affected by heart defects.
Some heart defects are just small holes in the heart that close on their own without medical intervention needed, while some are major malformations that need to be corrected via surgery.
Major defects are usually detected while still in the womb or right after birth. Minor defects may go unnoticed until adolescence.
Heart defects are usually serious, but the rate of survival is getting higher.
Inflammation and Infection of the Heart
These can be classified into three: myocarditis, pericarditis, or endocarditis.
In myocarditis, the muscles of the heart are inflamed or infected. In pericarditis, the ones inflamed or infected are the membranes that surround the heart.
As for endocarditis, the heart’s lining is inflamed or infected.
Heart inflammation may result from other conditions such as autoimmune disorders like hyperthyroidism and lupus, toxic substances such as dangerous drugs or liquor, viral infections such as upper respiratory viruses and rubella, and bacterial infections like Lyme disease.
Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disorder, where the muscle tissues may either be too rigid, thick, or thin.
Some forms of this disease are hereditary, while some result from other conditions, such as a viral infection, alcoholism, or coronary artery disease.
The heart gets weaker as the cardiomyopathy progresses, which may eventually cause the heart to not be able to supply enough blood necessary for the body’s needs.
This would ultimately result in heart failure.
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and fatigue are the common symptoms of this disease.
An arrhythmia is a form of heart rhythm disorder, wherein the heartbeat may be too fast, too slow, or irregular.
It can sometimes develop from other heart conditions.
Other factors such as heavy alcohol intake, certain medications, hormonal imbalance, and chemical imbalance can also contribute to arrhythmia.
Some of the usual signs and symptoms of this condition include fainting, dizziness, and the feeling of strong, rapid, or skipped heartbeats.
One of the most common kinds of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which affects roughly 3-6 million adults in the US, as reported by the American Heart Association.