Heart Diseases

Also called: Cardiac diseases

If you're like most people, you think that heart disease is a problem for others. But heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability. There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It's the major reason people have heart attacks.

Other kinds of heart problems may happen to the valves in the heart, or the heart may not pump well and cause heart failure. Some people are born with heart disease.

You can help reduce your risk of heart disease by taking steps to control factors that put you at greater risk:

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of Heart Diseases

The following features are indicative of Heart Diseases:
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • pain
  • numbness
  • weakness or coldness in the legs or arms
  • pain in the neck jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
It is possible that Heart Diseases shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Heart Diseases

The following are the most common causes of Heart Diseases:
  • congenital heart defects
  • coronary artery disease
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • excessive use of alcohol or caffeine

Other Causes of Heart Diseases

The following are the less common causes of Heart Diseases:
  • drug abuse
  • stress
  • use of over-the-counter medications
  • intake of dietary supplements
  • use of herbal remedies
  • valvular heart disease

Risk Factors for Heart Diseases

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Heart Diseases:
  • increasing age
  • being male
  • family history
  • smoking
  • poor diet
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood cholesterol levels
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • physical inactivity
  • stress
  • poor hygiene

Prevention of Heart Diseases

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Heart Diseases. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • avoid tobacco use
  • exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week
  • eat a heart-healthy diet
  • maintain a healthy bodyweight
  • get enough quality sleep
  • manage stress
  • get regular health screenings

Occurrence of Heart Diseases

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Heart Diseases cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Heart Diseases can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Heart Diseases can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Heart Diseases

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Heart Diseases:
  • Electrocardiogram: To see electrical impulses generated by heart
  • Blood tests: To test for the presence of certain enzymes
  • Chest X-ray:To check the size of heart and its blood vessels
  • Echocardiogram: Provide video images of the heart
  • Coronary catheterization: Reveals the areas of blockage
  • Exercise stress test: To measure how the heart and blood vessels respond to exertion
  • Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To diagnose the heart problems

Doctor for Diagnosis of Heart Diseases

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Heart Diseases:
  • Cardiologist

Complications of Heart Diseases if untreated

Yes, Heart Diseases causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Heart Diseases is left untreated:
  • stroke
  • aneurysm
  • heart failure
  • heart attack
  • sudden cardiac arrest
  • peripheral artery disease

Procedures for Treatment of Heart Diseases

The following procedures are used to treat Heart Diseases:
  • Coronary angioplasty and stenting: Unblock the artery in the heart
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery: Allow blood flow to the heart to bypass the narrowed section

Self-care for Heart Diseases

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Heart Diseases:
  • Avoid smoking: Helps in improving the heart's health
  • Control the blood pressure and cholesterol levels: Reduces the chances of heart attack
  • Get regular medical checkups: Check forthe conditions such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes and help you manage them
  • Exercise regularly: Helps in improving heart muscle function after a heart attack
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight strains the heart and can contribute to the other diseases
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet: Keeps the heart healthy
  • Manage diabetes: Keep blood sugar levels at more-desirable levels
  • Control stress: Reduce stress in your day-to-day activities

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Heart Diseases

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Heart Diseases:
  • Chiropractic therapy: Helps in the stress management during the treatment
  • Deep-breathing exercises and meditation: Helps in dealing with the stress

Patient Support for Treatment of Heart Diseases

The following actions may help Heart Diseases patients:
  • Deal with your emotions: Discuss your fear with your doctor, a family member or a friend may help
  • Support group: Effective in preventing or treating depression after a heart attack
  • Attend cardiac rehabilitation: Helps in lifestyle changes, emotional issues and a gradual return to your normal activities after a heart attack

Time for Treatment of Heart Diseases

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Heart Diseases to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Heart Diseases.
Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac Rehabilitation
Congenital Heart Defects
Coronary Artery Disease
Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke
Heart Attack
Heart Diseases--Prevention
Heart Failure
Heart Surgery
Heart Valve Diseases
Pericardial Disorders

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