Types of cardiovascular diseases: Description
Cardiovascular diseases are various disorders that affect the circulatory system.
Cardiovascular diseases take the 1st place among the causes of death worldwide, accounting for approximately 30% of deaths annually. Coronary artery disease and the stroke are the most common life-threatening conditions.
Risk factors(Types of cardiovascular diseases)
- Poor, unhealthy diet;
- Alcohol abuse;
- Sedentary lifestyle;
- Genetic predisposition;
- Electrolyte dysbalance;
- Arterial hypertension is a disease characterized by a sustained increased level of blood pressure upper the normal limit (140/90 mm Hg). The condition may be primary when there is no obvious reason why the blood pressure raises or secondary due to chronic kidney disease, aldosteronism, renovascular disease, Cushing syndrome, pheochromocytoma, coarctation of the aorta, thyroid or parathyroid disease, etc. Increased blood pressure damages internal organs – the heart, brain, kidneys and the arteries(Types of cardiovascular diseases).
- Atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease/ischemic artery disease – atherosclerosis is caused by the plaques build up in the arteries and narrow the vessels and reduces blood supply to the tissues. This causes angina pectoris, myocardial infarction and as a result may lead to acute/chronic heart failure.
- Peripheral arterial disease is the narrowing of the arteries of the limbs and decreased blood supply due to the plaque formation. The common symptom of the condition is intermittent claudication – leg pain that occurs during walking and resolves with rest. Ulcers on the legs may be seen, the extremities appear cold and somewhat bluish, later they may become atrophic(Types of cardiovascular diseases).
- Cerebrovascular disease includes various conditions when the brain’s blood supply is affected.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a short episode of brain ischemia that produce transient neurologic dysfunction (that may last up to 24 hours)(Types of cardiovascular diseases).
Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that provides the blood supply to the brain is occluded (due to a blood clot or embolus). The underlying condition is atherosclerosis. A person experiences confusion, troubles with speaking and understanding, headache, vomiting, numbness of the face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body, vision impairment, in one or both eyes, difficulties walking, including dizziness and lack of coordination as well as extremity weakness (paresis) or inability to move a body part or one side of the body (paralysis).
Hemorrhagic stroke develops when the blood vessel ruptures and the bleeding into the brain occurs with the following neurologic symptoms. When the bleeding occurs in the space between the brain and its covering this type of stroke is called subarachnoid hemorrhage. When the blood is leaking into the tissues of the brain it is called intracerebral hemorrhage.
Vascular dementia is a cognitive impairment due to decreased blood supply to the brain. Affected person experiences memory loss, confusion, is unable to think clearly, plan the activities and perform the tasks.
- Renal artery stenosis is the narrowing of the kidney arteries commonly due to atherosclerosis. The decreased blood supply to the kidneys mimics the low blood pressure, therefore the kidneys start producing hormones that increase the blood pressure.
- Aortic aneurysm is the dilatation of the aorta, when the artery is larger than 1.5 times normal size. It may affect any part of the aorta and usually is asymptomatic unless the aneurysm ruptures. Sometimes the person experiences back, abdominal or leg pain(Types of cardiovascular diseases).
- Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein, usually the leg (femoral vein)(Types of cardiovascular diseases) is affected. The condition is characterized by the pain in the injured extremity, which appear bluish, swollen with erythema and warmth over the vicinity of the clot. Along the vein a cord may be palpated. During the examination a doctor will detect positive Homan’s sign (pain with dorsiflexion of the foot) and pain on palpation. Superficial veins become prominent.
The detachment of the clot (embolization) may cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
- Cardiomyopathy is a group of disorders that affect the myocardium – the heart muscle. There several types of cardiomyopathy, including dilated, hypertrophic, restrictive, metabolic and alcoholic cardiomyopathy. These abnormalities of the heart muscle lead to the impairment of the heart function and, therefore, to heart failure.
- Hypertensive heart disease is the consequence of the arterial hypertension which includes hypertrophy of the heart muscle, heart failure, arrhythmias, heart attack and other complications.
- Heart failure
Chronic heart failure (also known as cardiac failure or congestive heart failure) is a condition characterized by an abnormal heart function – insufficient to pump the blood effectively. This leads to the stasis of the blood in the pulmonary and systemic circulation and impairment of the blood supply to the brain, muscles and other internal organs.
- Pulmonary heart disease (cor pulmonale) is the condition characterized by the hypertrophy of the right ventricle and its abnormal function due to the high blood pressure in the lungs (caused by the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, pneumosclerosis, etc.). The common symptoms of the condition are non-specific and include shortness of breath, wheezing, cyanosis, ascites, jaundice and hepatomegaly(Types of cardiovascular diseases).
- Cardiac dysrhythmias (heart arrhythmia/irregular heartbeat) are the conditions when the heart rate appears abnormal. These include tachy- and bradyarrhythmia, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, premature heartbeats, heart blocks, etc. Arrhythmia may be asymptomatic or cause episodes of unconsciousness/fainting/syncope, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain etc.
- Inflammatory heart disease
- Endocarditis is an inflammation of the endocardium – the inner lining of the heart due to bacterial infection.
- Inflammatory cardiomegaly– the enlargement of the heart caused by the infection.
- Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, often due to viral infection.
- Pericarditis is an inflammation of the outer coverage of the heart called the pericardium.
- Valvular heart disease includes any condition when any of heart valves is damaged: aortic valve stenosis/insufficiency, mitral valve stenosis/insufficiency, tricuspid valve stenosis/insufficiency, pulmonary valve stenosis/insufficiency.
- Congenital heart disease/defect/anomaly – a heart defect present at birth. These anomalies include atrial septal defect, atrioventricular septal defect, Ebstein’s anomaly, transposition of the great arteies etc.
- Rheumatic heart disease is the heart damage due rheumatic fever caused by the group A streptococci infection.