The Definition of Heart Disease

Heart disease is actually any condition or disorder in which the ability of the heart to perform is adversely affected. There are many forms of heart disease including alcoholic cardiomyopathy, aortic regurgitation, aortic stenosis, arrhythmias, carcinogenic shock, congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease (CAD), endocarditis, heart attack also called a myocardial infarction, heart failure, heart tumor, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, idiopathic cardiomyopathy, ischemic cardiomyopathy, acute mitral regurgitation, chronic mitral regurgitation, mitral stenosis, mitral valve prolapse, peripartum cardiomyopathy, pulmonary stenosis, stable angina, unstable angina and also tricuspid regurgitation.

There are many things that can cause or lead to heart disease including narrowing of or a blockage of the coronary arteries that are responsible for supplying blood to the heart. Some cases of heart disease are present at birth such as congenital heart disease and others occur as we go through life and can include hypertension (high blood pressure), abnormal heart valve function, a abnormal heart rhythm, and a weakening of the heart’s ability to pump that can happen when there is infection or a toxin present in the bloodstream.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Coronary heart disease is the major type of heart disease and is the type that causes 71% of the heart connected deaths in the U.S. Almost half of the victims of heart attacks die before getting to the emergency room.

Individuals who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, are obese or are older than 60 are all at an increased risk for heart disease.

Heart disease can be caused by infection, by toxins, by smoking, by other disease or by birth defects and malformation of the heart during the fetal stage of life. Anyone can get heart disease but it is more prevalent as we age.

Some risk factors for heart disease are unavoidable and cannot be controlled such as age, or family history and congenital heart problems. The individual can control other risk factors such as obesity, and smoking.

Heart disease can involve just the arteries, it can involve a part of the heart that is not functioning, or it can involve a malformation of the heart at birth. It can involve a perfectly good heart that becomes damaged by disease, infection or a toxin. Heart disease can be something that occurs at birth, it can be something that occurs over a lifetime of bad habits like overeating and smoking or it can occur because of an event such as the introduction of a toxin into the bloodstream or the occurrence of an infection.

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