Topics: Heart, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis Pages: 4 (964 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Heart Disease

Heart disease is an umbrella term for any type of disorder that affects the heart. Heart disease means the same as cardiac disease but not cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease refers to disorders of the blood vessels and heart, while heart disease refers to just the heart.

According to WHO (World Health Organization), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

25.4% of all deaths in the USA today are caused by heart disease.

Examples of heart disease include: 

Angina - also known as angina pectoris, occurs when an area of heart muscle does not get enough oxygen. The patient experiences chest discomfort, tightness or pain. Angina is not technically a disease, but rather a symptom ofcoronary artery disease. Lack of oxygen to the heart muscle is usually caused by the narrowing of the coronary arteries because of plaque accumulation (atherosclerosis).

Arrhythmia - an irregular heartbeat.
* Tachycardia is when the heart beats too fast
* Bradycardia is when the heart beats too slowly
* Premature contraction is when the heart beats too early * Fibrillation is when the heart beat is irregular
Arrhythmias are problems with heart-rhythm. They happen when the heart's electrical impulses that coordinate heartbeats do not work properly, making the heart beat in a way it should not, either too fast, slowly or erratically.

Irregular heartbeats are common, we all experience them. They feel like a fluttering or a racing heart. However, when they veer too far from normal heartbeat or occur because of a damaged or weak heart, they need to be taken more seriously and treated. Irregular heartbeats can become fatal.

Diagram of the heart. Blue parts indicate de-oxygenated blood pathways while red parts indicate oxygenated pathways

Congenital heart disease - this is a general term for some birth defects that affect how the heart works. Congenital means you are born with it. In the...
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