Which Common Heart Diseases Should You Be Concerned About?
As the UK’s biggest killer, coronary heart disease (CHD) can drastically impact your wellbeing, as well as your heart health. It tends to affect your wellness when fatty materials build up in the walls of your coronary arteries, as this means that your blood can’t easily get to the muscles and tissues of your heart. This clogging-up process is known as atherosclerosis, and can also contribute to high blood pressure, which also increases your risk of heart disease.
You may be at a higher risk of atherosclerosis due to genetic factors, which you might be able to determine if you have a family history of heart disease in middle-age. However, you can reduce your risk of CHD by working on lifestyle factors. An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, diabetes, high blood pressure and, most importantly, smoking, increases your risk of CHD. Thanks to better treatments, deaths from coronary heart disease have nearly halved in the past couple of decades, but the best treatment is always prevention.
But is this the only wellness worry you should have for your heart? Let’s take a look at other common heart diseases:
- Chronic Heart Failure (CHD) – Roughly one million people in the UK have been diagnosed with CHD, but there are many more estimated to have it unknowingly. CHD is one of the main causes of heart failure, occurring when your heart doesn’t works effectively as a pump, and fluid gathers in your lower limbs and lungs. CHD can significantly reduce your quality of life, as it comes with a whole host of nasty symptoms.
- Infection – Thanks to antibiotics, it’s much rarer to be affected by bacterial infections such as endocarditis these days. However, these infections do exist, and can damage the valves of your heart as well as other tissues. This can lead to heart failure or cause abnormal heart rhythms.
- Congenital heart disease – As your baby grows in your womb, a number of defects can develop in their heart, such as septal defect, which is a hole in the heart. Congenital heart disease may cause your baby to experience abnormal blood flow and put excessive strain on their heart after baby has been born.
- Cardiomyopathy – This disease of the heart muscle can occur for different reasons. Causes include coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, viral infection, high alcohol intake and thyroid disease.