The Different Types of Heart Disease

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According to estimates, about 450,000 Americans will die each year from heart related diseases and some of these deaths could have been avoided with relatively minor lifestyle adjustments and other healthy practices.

When considering the types of heart diseases, diseases affecting the coronary arteries, heart muscles, valves, major blood vessels, lining tissues of the heart chambers, conducting pathways…etc would be rather common although the coronary artery related diseases would come on top. Apart from these, external factors would also lead to heart diseases as they may compromise a perfectly functioning heart after prolonged period of insulting.

Let us now see some of the common types of heart diseases that will be seen among the general population.

Coronary heart disease

Probably the commonest of them all, such diseases would affect the blood supply towards the heart muscles due to narrowing of the blood vessel lumen. It can also manifest in case of sudden spasmic reactions as well. But in most instances, the underlying cause for arterial lumen narrowing would be the formation of atheromatous plaques in the vessel wall. The result of such blockage would be the occurrence of angina pain and events such as myocardial infarctions.

Valvular heart disease

When the heart valves are compromised or damaged due to infections, inflammation or through congenital means; these valves would not be able to function properly and may give rise to heart disease of many varieties. Although some of these incidences are considered benign, certain other instances could even cause life threatening events.

Congenital heart disease

These diseases would be present since birth although some would take several months or years to manifest. Some of these defects would be corrected spontaneously in the adult age but, certain other defects would have to be corrected in order to sustain life and prevent worsening and deterioration of the heart function.

Inflammatory conditions

Endocarditis, myocarditis and pericarditis can be considered the three inflammatory types of diseases in the heart and they would relate to the diseases in the endocardium or the inner lining, myocardium or the muscles and the pericardium or the outer covering of the heart respectively.

Heart failure

This would be the condition where the heart is unable to do adequate pumping due to poor ventricular functioning. Thus, it may manifest as left ventricular failure or right ventricular failure and would be associated with many conditions that will compromise the function of the heart.

Hypertensive heart diseases

When a person is suffering from hypertension, the heart function would be compromised and with time, the heart function may be influenced irreversibly as well. Thus, in such disease states, the heart may change both structurally as well as functionally and could ultimately lead to a failed situation.

Apart from these, there are many other disease manifestations of the heart which includes cardiomyopathies or the diseases that affect the heart muscles as well. In many of these instances, there can be an overlap of several disease types as well as many extrinsic contributory factors such as diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, genetic susceptibility…etc.


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