Heart diseases are ailments that affect the cardiovascular system in the body. Here are the most common heart diseases to be aware of.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally. An unfortunate 17.9 million lives are lost each year to CVDs.
However, some heart diseases are preventable through healthy diets and exercise. Awareness of heart diseases and their triggers can help you minimize the risk of the ailments.
It is advisable to research the diseases and talk to your doctor about all the medical conditions you encounter.
The Most Common Heart Diseases
Here are five cardiovascular diseases that occur most frequently:
1. Heart Attacks
A heart attack is a common heart disease that happens when there is an interruption of blood flowing to the heart. Fatty material on the heart arteries or a blood clot disrupts blood flow.
People experiencing heart attacks do not always have the same symptoms, which also vary in severity.
Some common heart attack symptoms are:
- Chest pains;
- Shortness of breath;
- Upper body pain;
- And sweating.
If you suspect someone has a heart attack, sit them in a comfortable position and give them an aspirin to chew and swallow. You should immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Myocarditis is a rare heart disease but affects thousands of people globally. This heart disease commonly results from viral infections and causes inflammation of the heart muscle, ultimately leading to insufficient blood and oxygen in the body.
Common symptoms of myocarditis are:
- Shortness of breath;
- Heart palpitations;
- Chest pain/pressure;
- Swelling of limbs;
- And a sudden loss of consciousness.
However, it is usually asymptomatic, adding to the many subtleties of the disease.
Unfortunately, there is no known way of preventing myocarditis. The disease is also not known to be inherited through family genes.
After the disease occurs once, it is unlikely to occur again in most people (only in 10 to 15 percent).
Extreme activities like sleep, physical activity, or stressful moments lead the heart to beat too fast or too slow. Arrhythmia is when the heart beats too fast or too slow under normal activities.
This heart disease can affect anyone, but people with congenital heart conditions from birth are more susceptible to it. The prevalence of arrhythmia also increases with age.
The disease can resolve itself without medication, but in extreme cases, it may be fatal.
If the symptoms are life-threatening, it is critical to seek urgent medical attention. Failure to access immediate medical care may lead to the worsening of other ailments one has.
Untreated arrhythmia can also result in cardiac arrest or stroke.
4. Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is the most common heart disease in the U.S.
The condition occurs when the heart’s blood vessels narrow or block and fail to supply enough blood to the heart. The build-up of cholesterol and fats causes blood vessel blockage.
This heart disease is sometimes a precursor to a heart attack or heart failure.
Common signs of coronary heart disease are similar to heart attack/failure symptoms, i.e., chest pain, nausea, and shortness of breath.
When undergoing recovery from the ailment, it is necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle to alleviate the causes of diseases and prevent a recurrence.
Healthy habits like physical activity, healthy eating, and avoidance of stress are encouraged.
5. Valvular Heart Disease
Valvular heart disease is when a heart valve is damaged and does not function as it should. The heart valves open and fail to control or regulate blood flowing to and from the heart.
Congenital conditions, infections, age-related deteriorative conditions, and the presence of other heart diseases can cause valvular heart disease.
The severity of valvular heart disease varies and may be mild, moderate, or severe. In its worst form, the ailment may lead to heart failure, which means the heart cannot pump enough blood to support the body’s oxygen needs.
When on a recovery path from valvular heart disease, one must incorporate heart-healthy lifestyles. Healthy diets, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, regular physical activity, and managing stress levels are important aspects.
Beware And Prevent These Common Heart Diseases
Awareness of heart diseases is the first step to keeping healthy. The next step is to prevent the occurrence wherever possible.
Prevention measures for the ailments are similar, and it is possible to keep heart diseases at bay by adopting specific healthy behaviors.
Knowledge of the heart disease symptoms also helps you recognize them and seek medical attention instantly if you spot them.