Did you know that nearly 50% of American adults have at least one risk factor for heart disease?
As prevalent as coronary artery disease is, though, there are other common heart issues you should be aware of. After all, it’s never too soon to start thinking about your heart health!
Keep reading to learn about other heart conditions that may affect people of all ages.
1. Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is among the most common types of heart disease. Over time, a buildup of plaque (made from cholesterol and other substances) forms on the walls of the arteries.
Eventually, the arteries harden and narrow, reducing blood supply to the heart. As the heart receives fewer nutrients and less oxygen, the muscles weaken and become more susceptible to other heart conditions.
2. Congenital Heart Defects
Sometimes a baby is born with heart problems, known collectively as congenital heart defects. These might include:
- Heart murmurs
- Abnormal or leaky heart valves
- Atresia (absence of one heart valve)
- Septal defects (a hole in the wall of the heart muscle)
Often these don’t cause any outward symptoms and doctors only discover it during a routine checkup.
3. Myocardial Infarction
You likely know myocardial infarction by its common name: a heart attack. This frightening and potentially life-threatening event occurs when there’s an interruption of blood flow to the heart.
Blood clots, plaque buildup, or both can block blood flow in the coronary artery. A sudden narrowing or spasm in the artery can also trigger a heart attack. If not treated immediately, a heart attack can damage or destroy parts of the heart muscle.
Arrhythmia is a broad term for a number of heart conditions that feature an irregular heartbeat. The most common types are:
- Atrial fibrillation: (irregular heartbeat)
- Bradycardia: (slow heartbeat)
- Tachycardia: (fast heartbeat)
- Premature contractions: (early heartbeat)
Arrhythmia occurs when the body’s electrical impulses that manage the heartbeat don’t function normally. Most types of arrhythmia are harmless, but ongoing irregularities can affect the heart’s function over time.
If you’d like to know more about normal vs abnormal heartbeat, this site explains it succinctly.
5. Heart Failure
Heart failure is another broad term that refers to the heart’s decline in function. It still pumps blood, but not as well as it should.
Untreated high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and other heart risk factors can eventually lead to heart failure. Although it can become life-threatening, getting early treatment for related heart conditions will reduce the chance of complications.
Learn More About These Common Heart Conditions
If you have any known heart risk factors, it’s important to get familiar with these heart conditions. Even if you don’t, you may be able to use this knowledge to help a loved one who suffers from one of these common heart diseases.
So keep learning and making your own heart health a priority. Remember: It’s never too soon to invest in your long-term health and wellness!
Now that you know more about these prevalent heart conditions, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more advice about health, lifestyle, and more interesting topics.