Heart Disease

Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases which affect the heart. The most common heart diseases are:

Coronary heart disease – a disease of the heart itself caused by the accumulation of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the arteries that supply the myocardium.

Ischaemic heart disease – another disease of the heart itself, characterized by reduced blood supply to the organ.

Cardiovascular disease – a sub-umbrella term for a number of diseases that that affect the heart itself and/or the blood vessel system, especially the veins and arteries leading to and from the heart. Research on disease dimorphism suggests that women who suffer with cardiovascular disease usually suffer from forms that affect the blood vessels while men usually suffer from forms that affect the heart muscle itself. Known or associated causes of cardiovascular disease include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperhomocysteinemia and hypercholesterolemia.

Pulmonary heart disease – a failure of the right side of the heart.

Hereditary heart disease – heart disease caused by unavoidable genetic factors.

Hypertensive heart disease – heart disease caused by high blood pressure, especially localised high blood pressure.

Inflammatory heart disease – heart disease that involves inflammation of the heart muscle and/or the tissue surrounding it.

Valvular heart disease – heart disease that affects the valves of the heart.