Most Common Types of Heart Disease
Heart disease causes around 610,000 deaths per year in the United States, according to the CDC—about 1 in 4 deaths. Indeed, it’s remained the leading cause of death in the US for the majority of the past century.
At Tri-City Cardiology, our board-certified cardiologists have extensive clinical experience evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a wide variety cardiac problems among our patients of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. It’s our mission to help you understand your unique cardiovascular risks and what you can do to avoid or mitigate these problems.
What Are The Most Common Types of Heart Disease?
While the following list is not all-inclusive, these cardiac problems are among the most common we see at our clinic. Heart disease can manifest in a variety of ways and affect people differently, so accurate diagnosis and an individualized approach to care is essential for optimal outcomes.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease (CAD), is the leading type of heart disease, accounting for about 370,000 American deaths annually as reported by the CDC.
CHD is caused by a build-up of a sticky substance called plaque inside the arteries supplying blood to your heart. Over time, this decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients your heart receives, which can weaken it and lead to additional cardiac problems such as:
- Angina (chest pain): often felt as pressure or tightness in the chest that can be brought on by physical or emotional stress
- Heart attack (ischemic heart disease): a part of the heart dies due to lack of oxygen
- Congestive heart failure (CHF): the heart stops pumping blood as well as it should
- Dysrhythmia (arrhythmia): a heartbeat that is too fast, too slow, or irregular and caused by some sort of misfiring in the electrical signaling within the heart
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart tissue and over time can lead to many of the same cardiac problems caused by CHD. The various types of cardiomyopathy render the heart less effective at pumping blood. Specific types include:
- Dilated cardiomyopathy: the heart’s main blood-pumping chamber, the left ventricle, grows larger
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: the left ventricular wall gets thicker
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy: the heart becomes less elastic and unable to properly expand
Hypertensive Heart Disease
Your blood pressure is the amount of pressure in your arteries during contraction and relaxation of the heart. This tells you how much resistance your heart has to push against in order to pump blood around the body.
If your blood pressure is high (hypertension), your heart has to work a lot harder to do its job. Over time, this can lead to cardiac problems like heart failure as well as problems elsewhere in the body, including aneurysms (a bulging blood vessel wall, which can rupture).
Inflammatory Heart Disease
Inflammation in and around the heart can disrupt the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively and is generally caused by some sort of infection by environmental toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other harmful substances. Specific types of inflammatory heart disease include:
- Myocarditis: inflammation of the heart tissue
- Pericarditis: inflammation of the membranous sac surrounding the heart
- Endocarditis: inflammation of the inner lining and valves inside the heart
Are you concerned about your heart health? Contact Tri-City Cardiology today at 480-835-6100 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.