After cancer, heart disease is the leading cause of maximum deaths across the globe. Nearly one out of every five deaths is the result of a heart disease. According to a report published by one of the leading medical institutions of the world, about 15 million people were diagnosed with a heart disease in the year of 2017, of which approximately 50 percent of them lost their lives to this fatal condition.
Heart disease can strike anyone. It’s a condition that doesn’t discriminate. Almost everyone is exposed to the risk of developing a heart disease. That’s why leading a healthy lifestyle, keeping a check on what you eat and exercising on a regular basis is utmost important.
Different types of heart diseases
Heart disease is an umbrella term that comprises of a plethora of cardiovascular problems. Some most common types of heart diseases are as follows:-
- Arrhythmia – a condition that involves abnormal heart rhythm.
- Atherosclerosis – a disease wherein the arteries of the heart become hard.
- Cardiomyopathy – in this condition, either the heart’s muscles harden or become weak.
- Congenital heart defects – this defines irregularities in the heart which are typically present from the time of birth.
- Coronary artery disease (CAD) – otherwise commonly known as CAD, it is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart.
- Heart infections – these may happen because of bacteria, viruses, or parasites present in the body.
Usually, the term cardiovascular disease is used for defining heart conditions which typically affect the blood vessels.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
Different types of heart diseases showcase different types of symptoms. Read below to know more:
Arrhythmias is a condition wherein abnormal heart rhythm is noted. The symptoms in this condition usually depend up on the type of arrhythmia a person has — either heartbeats which are too fast or too slow. Symptoms of an arrhythmia are as follows:
- fainting spells
- slow pulse
- fluttering heart or racing heartbeat
- pain in the chest
Physicians define atherosclerosis as a condition in which blood supply reduces to extremities. The person experiences pain in the chest along with shortness of breath and a combination of the below mentioned symptoms:
- coldness, especially in the limbs
- weakness in arms and legs
- unusual or unexplained pain in the body
- numbness, especially in the limbs
Congenital heart defects
These are heart problems which generally develop as a result of a growing fetus. Studies and surveys suggest that some of these heart defects are never diagnosed until they become severe in nature. Others get detected when they showcase the following symptoms:
- irregular heart rhythm
- swelling of the extremities
- fatigue and low energy
- shortness of breath
- blue-tinged skin
Coronary artery disease (CAD)
This is one of the most common type of heart diseases affecting millions of people across the globe. CAD short for coronary artery disease is a plaque that builds up in the arteries and affects the functionality of both, the heart and the lungs. Symptoms of CAD are as follows:
- experiencing discomfort or pain in the chest
- feeling pressure or squeezing sensation in the chest
- facing difficulty in breathing
- indigestion or gas
Cardiomyopathy is a kind of heart disease that makes the muscles of the heart to grow larger in size and turn thick, rigid, and weak. Symptoms of cardiomyopathy include:
- swelling in the legs, especially in the feet and ankles
- difficulty in breathing
- pounding or rapid pulse
In general, the term is used for describing conditions such as endocarditis or myocarditis. Symptoms of this condition include:
- pain in the chest
- coughing or chest congestion
- skin rash
Causes of Heart Disease
As stated above, heart disease is an amalgamation of heart-related diseases and conditions which cause cardiovascular diseases. Each of these is caused by a set of entirely unique factors. For instance, atherosclerosis and CAD are caused by buildup of plaque in the arteries. Causes of other conditions are described below.
Typical causes of this condition include:
- medications, supplements, and herbal remedies
- heart defects, including congenital heart defects
- substance use disorders
- consumption of excessive alcohol or caffeine
- existing heart damage or disease
- stress and anxiety
Congenital Heart Defect
This condition happens when a baby is still developing in the womb of the mother. Some heart defects are serious. However, if diagnosed early can be completely cured. While some go undiagnosed for many years and cause problems at a later stage.
Many types are cardiomyopathy conditions are recognized by medical science, each of which is a result of a different condition.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy – while it’s still a mystery as to what exactly causes the condition, it is predicated to be a result of some previous damage occurred to the heart.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – this condition is usually inherited.
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy – similar to dilated cardiomyopathy, physician are unclear even about what causes restrictive cardiomyopathy. Possible causes include a buildup of scar tissues and abnormal proteins in the body.
Bacteria, parasites, and viruses are stated as the most common causes of heart infections. The presence of uncontrolled infections in the body harm the heart leading to its failure, especially when the condition is left untreated.
Risk Factors of Heart Diseases
Many risk factors follow heart diseases. While some of them are controllable in nature, others aren’t. One of the leading medical associations of the world states that nearly 30 percent of people worldwide face at least one of the below mentioned risk factors.
- high cholesterol level
- excessive smoking
- sedentary lifestyle
Smoking, for instance, is a controllable risk factor. People who actively smoke have higher chances of developing heart disease. However, if they stop smoking, their chances reduce to half.
On the other hand, people with diabetes are also at a higher risk of having one of the above mentioned heart diseases due to elevated blood glucose levels:
If a person has diabetes, it is important to control blood glucose in order to limit the risk of developing heart disease. The American Heart Association states that people with both hypertension and diabetes are the highest risk of facing cardiovascular disease and related conditions.