HEART DISEASE: Defining Heart Disease
The American Heart Association is a great source of information to help you better understand heart disease, after looking at their website, www.heart.org, we found some great information, including some explanations of all of the different heart issues that can fall under the category of heart disease.
Heart disease is a term used to describe a number of issues related to the heart and blood vessels, including:
Atherosclerosis sometimes referred to as “the hardening of arteries,” is a condition that causes plaque to build-up in the arteries and blood vessels, leading to the narrowing and blockage of the arteries and vessels, and restricting blood flow, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, which occurs when the heart is not pumping blood as well as it should, causing the body to lack sufficient blood and oxygen flow.
Arrhythmia is used to describe an abnormal heartbeat or rhythm. An arrhythmia is usually diagnosed if the heart beats too fast, to slow, or irregularly, and is often described as the heart being “out of rhythm” or “skipping.
There are different types of arrhythmia.
Bradycardia: a slow heart, less than 60 beats per minute.
Tachycardia: a fast heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.
Either type of arrhythmia can impact how well the heart works, including preventing the heart from pumping enough blood through the body.
Heart Valve problems can impact the flow or circulation of blood through the body. There are several types of heart valve problems, including stenosis, regurgitation, and prolapse.
Stenosis: the heart valves do not open enough to allow the blood to flow through as it should.
Regurgitation: If the heart valves do not completely close and allowing blood to leak through.
Prolapse: the heart valve leaflets bulge or fall back into the upper chamber of the heart.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with any of these conditions, it is important to take proactive steps to prevent further damage or health risk.
For more information about how to protect you and your family talk with your doctor, and visit the American Heart Association website at www.heart.org. There you will find tons of information about heart health.
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