Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to a group of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. These conditions include coronary artery disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, and congenital heart defects, among others.
Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and occurs when the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients become narrowed or blocked. This can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath, heart attack, or stroke.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood effectively throughout the body, leading to fatigue, shortness of breath, and fluid buildup in the legs and lungs.
Arrhythmias refer to abnormal heart rhythms that can cause palpitations, dizziness, or fainting spells. Some arrhythmias can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Congenital heart defects are abnormalities in the heart's structure that are present at birth. These defects can affect the heart's valves, chambers, or blood vessels and may require surgery or other interventions.
Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and a family history of heart disease. Prevention and treatment of heart disease may involve lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and not smoking, as well as medications or procedures to manage specific conditions.
The treatment of heart disease depends on the specific type and severity of the condition.
For coronary artery disease, lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and reducing stress may be recommended. Medications such as statins, blood pressure-lowering drugs, and blood-thinning medications may also be prescribed. In some cases, procedures such as angioplasty or bypass surgery may be necessary to restore blood flow to the heart.