What are the most common heart disorders?
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease, also known as coronary heart disease, is the most common type of heart disease. It develops when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become clogged with plaque. As a result, the blood supply reduces, and the heart receives less oxygen and fewer nutrients. In time, the heart muscle weakens, and there is a risk of heart failure and arrhyth- mias.
Congenital Heart Defect
A person with a congenital heart defect is born with a heart problem. This could be heart valves not opening properly or leak- ing blood, a hole in the wall between either the lower chambers or the upper chambers of the heart or even the heart valve is missing.
Arrhythmia refers to an irregular heartbeat. It occurs when the electrical impulses that coordinate the heartbeat do not work properly. As a result, the heart may beat too fast, too slowly, or erratically. Brief changes in heart rhythm are not a cause for concern, but treatment will be necessary if they persist, as this can affect the heart’s function.
Also known as myocardial infarction, a heart attack involves an interruption of the blood flow to the heart. This can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle. The most common cause of heart attack is plaque, a blood clot, or both in a coronary artery. It can also occur if an artery suddenly narrows or spasms.
When a person has heart failure, the heart is still working but not as well as it should. Heart failure can result from untreated coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and other conditions. These conditions can affect the heart’s abil- ity to pump properly. Heart failure can be life-threatening, but seeking early treatment for heart-related conditions can help prevent complications.