THE HUMAN HEART
(diseases) CLOSE THIS WINDOW TO RETURN TO INDEX

Overview
Like all organs of the human body, the heart can suffer from a range of malfunctions and diseases. Since the heart is a highly critical organ, anything less than a perfect healthy heart can lead to serious consequences for the owner. Here is a non-exhaustive list of possible problem-causing conditions:

Aortic aneurysm
Coronary heart disease
Cardiomyopathy
Atherosclerosis
Congenital heart disease
Corpulmonale, a failure of the right side of the heart.
Hypertensive heart disease
Left ventricular hypertrophy
Valvular heart disease
Endocarditis
Myocarditis

Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease a term  that describes what happens when your heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances (atheromatous plaques) along the walls of coronary arteries that supply the myocardium. If your coronary arteries become narrow due to this build-up, your heart will start receiving a restricted supply of blood.  the blood supply to your heart will be restricted. This can cause angina (chest pains) or if they become completely blocked - a myocardial infarction, commonly called 'a heart attack'.

In the UK, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 6 women are dying through this disease, with over 300,000 people having a heart attack each year and over 100,000 dying in the UK, and approximately half a million in the united States.  Often, simple lifestyle changes, can make considerable improvements in the outcome of Coronary Heart Disease.

Cardiomyopathy
This is a disease of the heart muscle itself: the myocardium.  People with cardiomyopathy are often at risk of arrhythmia and/or sudden cardiac death. The normal functioning of the heart muscle may be affected by a variety of causes including genetic, alcohol and drug abuse, nutrition, inadequate oxygen delivery, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, excess accumulation of iron in other organs - especially, the liver, and diabetes.

 
Cardiovascular Disease
Vascular disease is mainly caused by hardening of the arteries
(atherosclerosis) due to a thickening of the artery lining from fatty deposits or plaques (atheroma). Therefore Cardio-Vascular disease covers a range of conditions which mainly affects the heart. Normally, this is through restricted blood supply, as a result of narrowing arteries. Studies have revealed that in women, cardiovasular disease is more likely to be related to disease of the blood vessels, whilst in men - it tends to be disease of the heart muscles themselves. Known or associated causes of cardiovascular disease include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperhomocysteinemia and hypercholesterolemia.

Cardiovascular Disease is commonly used as a collective term covering all heat disease as well as disease of the blood vessels.

 

The following will increase your risk:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Diabetes
  • A family history of heart disease
  • Ageing

 

Valvular Heart Disease
There are 4 valves in the heart. As the term suggests, any disease of 1 or more of these valves will be termed as a Valvular Heart disorder or disease.

There are several types of valve disease:

Valvular stenosis
This occurs when a valve opening is smaller than normal due to stiff or fused leaflets. The narrowed opening may make the heart work very hard to pump blood through it. This can lead to heart failure and other symptoms. All four valves can be stenotic (hardened, restricting blood flow); the conditions are called tricuspid stenosis, pulmonic stenosis, mitral stenosis or aortic stenosis.

Valvular insufficiency.
Also called "leaky valve", occurs when a valve does not close tightly. When valves fail to seal completely, a quantity of blood will leak backwards making the heart work harder trying to compensate for the reduced push-through quantity of blood. Ultimately, it may not be able to compensate sufficiently and insufficient blood is circulated in the body.Depending on which valve is affected, the condition is called tricuspid regurgitation, pulmonary regurgitation, mitral regurgitation or aortic regurgitation


 









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