Heart Condition Information
- Angina Pectoris/Chest Pain
- Aortic Stenosis
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Heart Murmurs
- High Blood Pressure / Hypertension
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Mitral Regurgitation
- Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Varicose Veins
- Ventricular Fibrillation
An aneurysm is an area of a localized widening (dilation) of a blood vessel usually caused by atherosclerosis and hypertension – or, less frequently, by trauma, infection, or a congenital weakness in the vessel wall. An aortic aneurysm is a weak spot in the wall of the aorta, the primary artery that carries blood from the heart to the head and extremities.
Angina Pectoris/Chest Pain
Chest pain that is typically severe and crushing with a feeling just behind the breastbone (the sternum) of pressure and suffocation, due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle.
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. With an arrhythmia, the heartbeats may be irregular, too slow, too rapid, or too early. When a single heartbeat occurs earlier than normal, it is called a premature contraction.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common, abnormal rhythm of the heart. It is a particular type of heartbeat characterized by an extremely fast irregular rhythm. The heart normally contracts (beats) and pumps blood with a regular rhythm. In AF, the electrical discharges are irregular and rapid; as a result, the heart beats irregularly – and usually rapidly.
Learn more about Atrial Fibrillation.
Read more on Subclinical Atrial Fibrillation and the Risk of Stroke.
Cholesterol is the most common type of steroid in the body and a critically important molecule. Cholesterol is carried in the bloodstream as lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol; conversely, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is the “good” cholesterol.
Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital heart defects are problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth. These defects can involve the interior walls of the heart, valves inside the heart, or the arteries and veins that carry blood to the heart or out to the body.
Click here to learn more about our Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary disease (or coronary heart disease) refers to the failure of coronary circulation to supply adequate circulation to cardiac muscle and surrounding tissue. If a coronary artery becomes completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack.
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure (or heart failure) is a chronic, progressive condition that occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the muscles, tissues and organs of the body
iabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that result from defects in insulin secretion, action, or both. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death among Americans – over 15 million Americans suffer from one form or another of this disease.
Frequent urination refers to frequent need to empty one’s bladder and can indicate a number of medical conditions such as an enlarged prostate, cystitis, prostatitis, bladder cancer, overactive bladder, a tumor or mass in the pelvis, anxiety or stroke.
Endocarditis is an infection that can damage heart valves and cause other serious complications. The patient is typically prescribed antibiotics — or, if the condition advances, surgery to replace or repair damaged valves may be required.
A heart attack is the common term for a myocardial infarction (MI) – a condition that generally occurs when there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart and the heart does not receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs.
Heart failure (HF) is a condition in which a problem with the structure or function of the heart impairs its ability to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body’s needs. Heart failure does not mean that the heart has stopped working or is about to stop working.
Murmurs are extra heart sounds that are produced as a result of turbulent blood flow sufficient to produce audible noise. Murmurs may be present in normal hearts without any heart disease.
High Blood Pressure/ Hypertension
Blood is carried from the heart to all the body’s tissues and organs in vessels called arteries. High blood pressure (HBP), or hypertension, means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. It is either:
- A systolic pressure consistently at 140 or higher
- A diastolic pressure consistently at 90 or higher
Metabolic syndrome is an association between certain metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease. The main features of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol abnormalities, and an increased risk for clotting.
Mitral Valve Prolapse
The mitral valve controls the flow of blood into the left ventricle. Normally, when the left ventricle contracts, the mitral valve closes and the blood flows out through the aortic valve. In mitral valve prolapse, the shape or dimensions of the leaflets of the valve are not ideal – they may be too large and fail to close properly or balloon out – hence the term “prolapse”.
Although used interchangeably, “overweight” and “obese” do not mean the same thing. Obesity is a medical term meaning the storage of excess fat (adipose tissue) in the body. It is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount body fat and is known to be negative to one’s heart health.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Peripheral heart disease is also known as peripheral vascular disease, peripheral heart disease, or PAD. It affects the blood vessels outside the heart, causing it to narrow and restrict the blood flow to the arms, legs, kidneys or stomach. Peripheral heart disease is often a sign of widespread atherosclerosis – the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries.Learn more about Peripheral Artery Disease.
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure of the arteries in the lungs – which can lead to heart failure. Patients with pulmonary hypertension experience shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue.
Stress has become well known as a major factor to one’s heart health. Stress can directly cause heart conditions, such as hypertension, through repeated elevations in blood pressure and stimulation to the nervous system that increases the release of vasoconstricting hormones. Stress can also indirectly cause conditions such as obesity and smoking – which are well known to be damaging to the heart.
A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted, causing brain cells to die. When blood flow to the brain is impaired, oxygen and glucose cannot be delivered to the brain. A stroke occurs when the arterial blood flow leading to or in the brain becomes blocked or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain, so when the blood flow stops, the cells begin to die. As a result, the functions of the body controlled by the nerve cells can lose their ability to function.
Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening abnormality in the electrical rhythm of the nerves of the ventricular portion of the heart. In this case, the rhythm is very fast and irregular – causing the heart to stop effectively beating.
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, bluish veins that bulge from the surface of the skin, usually in the legs and ankles. Most cases are not serious, but can result in painful symptoms or be a sign of a more serious condition.