The causes of heart diseases vary. This mostly depends on the type of heart disease the patient has. Below are examples of heart diseases and their causes; 1. Atherosclerosis: This is the most prevalent cause of cardiovascular diseases. It is a condition in which there is a buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries. These plaques make the vessels thicker, and also stiffens the arterial walls, which would also gradually reduce the flow of blood to the organs and tissues. It mostly occurs as a result of conditions such as an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, excess weight and smoking. The risk of developing heart diseases reduces, once these risk factors are removed. Certain factors can damage the inner area of the artery and lead to atherosclerosis. These factors include: • the family history of heart disease or atherosclerosis • being physically inactive • high blood pressure • being overweight • high levels of cholesterol • smoking • high levels of sugar in the blood Managing these conditions if you have them and having a healthy lifestyle can help to lower your chance of developing atherosclerosis
This is a condition in which the heart produces abnormal heart rhythms. This condition can be caused by several factors. Below are some of them: Congenital heart defects: Congenital heart defects are conditions that people are born with. Coronary heart diseases Smoking High blood pressure Stress Valvular heart diseases Medications Diabetes mellitus It’s rare for a heart arrhythmia to develop in an individual with a normal and healthy heart. This would only happen when there is an external trigger, which might be the use of illegal medications, or electrical shock. On the other hand, an unhealthy heart can lead to arrhythmia. This is because the heart’s electrical impulses might not start or travel properly through the heart, which would increase the risks of arrhythmia
Cardiomyopathy: This is a condition in which the heart muscles enlarge or thicken abnormally. Below are the types of cardiomyopathy and their causes. • Dilated cardiomyopathy: The exact cause of this disease isn’t known yet. It’s the most prevalent type of cardiomyopathy. However, this heart disorder reduces the flow of blood to the heart, which would damage the heart and lead to conditions such as heart attack, infections, toxins and drugs. This is mostly inherited from parents. Dilated cardiomyopathy leads to the enlargement of the left ventricle. • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This is a condition in which the heart muscles become abnormally thick. Just like dilated cardiomyopathy, this disease is also inherited. It tends to develop over time, due to blood pressure or ageing. • Restrictive cardiomyopathy: This is the least common type of cardiomyopathy. This is a condition in which the heart muscles become less elastic and more rigid. The exact reason for the development of this disease isn’t known yet. Diseases that could lead to the development of this disease include connective tissue disorders, hemochromatosis, amyloidosis and so on. • .
2. Preeclampsia: This is a condition in which an expectant mother presents with hypertension. Studies have shown that there is a connection between this disease and heart failure. People that have this disease should frequently visit their cardiologist. 3. The family history of heart disease: Studies have shown that genetics plays an important role in the development of heart disease. People that have a relative or first-degree family member with this disease have a high risk of also developing heart disease. 4. Teeth disease: Gum disease is associated with inflammation of the gum. A lot of organisms such as bacteria tend to grow in these type of diseases. Examples include periodontitis. These bacteria might spread to the bloodstream through the mouth, and lead to serious
1. Swelling of the extremities: Patients with diseases of the legs such as amputations or disabilities should visit their cardiologist regularly, as they have a high risk of developing heart diseases. 2. Congenital heart disease in childhood: Congenital heart defects develop when the baby is still in the womb. Defects of the heart develop, at about a month after conception. They do change the flow of blood in the heart. This may occur as a result of some genetic mutations, the use of some medications by the woman, and so on. Heart defects can also occur in adults. This tends to occur as one grows older. How Do Cardiologist Diagnose Heart Diseases? Cardiologists diagnose heart disease by carrying out different blood tests, medical imaging tests, and so on. Below are some of the examples of procedures they carry out: Electrocardiogram Echocardiogram Stress test Holter monitoring CT scan Treatment Of Heart Diseases In general, below are some of the treatment for heart diseases. They include: Lifestyle changes: Consuming foods that are low in sodium, and fat reduces the risk of developing heart diseases. In addition, stopping habits such as smoking, excess alcohol intake reduces the chances of developing heart diseases. Medications: Doctors might prescribe medications to help the patient control his/her heart diseases. Surgery: This is done when the medications have failed to bring relief to the patient. References European Atherosclerosis Society. (2015). Atherosclerosis Supplements, 19, p.iv. Raggi, P. (2016). Inflammation, depression and atherosclerosis or depression, inflammation and atherosclerosis?. Atherosclerosis, 251, pp.542-543. Smoking and atherosclerosis. (2002). Atherosclerosis Supplements, 3(2), p.230