Heart Disease

Heart disease is a term used to cover any condition or deformity of the heart. Heart disease covers issues of blood vessels and heart defects while cardiovascular disease covers conditions of blocked heart vessels that leads to heart attack, chest pain and stroke. Heart disease and cardiovascular disease are used interchangeably.

There are different types of heart disease including:

  • Arrhythmia:

    this occurs when there is an abnormality in the heart rhythm.

  • Atherosclerosis:

    this condition involves the hardening of the arteries

  • Cardiomyopathy:

    the heart muscles grows larger and harden or grow weak

  • Congenital heart defects:

    these are irregularities present in the heart at birth

  • Coronary artery disease:

    here there is buildup of plaque in heart arteries that move oxygen rich blood through the heart and lungs. Sometimes it is called ischemic heart disease

  • Heart infections:

    this is caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites


Symptoms vary according to the type of heart disease


symptoms are dependent on the fastness or slowness of heartbeat rhythm

  • Light headedness
  • Racing/fluttering heart
  • Slow pulse
  • Fainting spells
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain


  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coldness in limbs
  • Numbness in limbs
  • Unusual/unexplained pains
  • Weakness in legs and arms


  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Swollen legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid pulse


  • Blue-tinged skin
  • Swelling of extremities
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heart rhythm


  • Chest pain
  • Squeezing feeling in chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion


  • Chest pain
  • Chest congestion
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Skin rash


  • Genetics
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Junk food
  • Age
  • Physical inactivity
  • History of preeclampsia during pregnancy


  • Age: aging increases risk of narrowing or damaged arteries
  • Sex: heart disease is more common in men, but women face the risk of having it after menopause
  • Genetics: a family history of heart disease increase risk of coronary artery disease
  • Smoking: nicotine constricts the blood vessels and the lining can be damaged with carbon monoxide
  • Poor diet: excess fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol in meal increases risk of heart disease
  • High blood pressure: uncontrolled high blood pressure can result to the hardening of arteries and narrowing blood vessels
  • High blood cholesterol level: can risk formation of plaques
  • Diabetes: both conditions have similar risk factors
  • Obesity: overweight increases other risk factor
  • Physical inactivity: lack of exercise is related to many forms of heart disease.


  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Sudden cardiac arrest


You are advised to work with your doctor to find a suitable treatment plan for your condition.

  • Medication: such as statins, blood thinners, beta-blockers, angiotensin
  • Surgery: like angioplasty, coronary artery bypass surgery to repair fatty valves, pacemakers


There is no prevention for heart defects, but other heart disease can be prevented with some lifestyle changes.

  • Quit smoking
  • Control other health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress

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