Heart disease is categorized as being any disorder that affects the heart's ability to function normally. Below is a description of the most common types of heart conditions.
If you suspect you or a loved on has a heart condition, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary doctor, please call the Saint Francis Health Link at 918-488-6688 or search our provider directory to find one that fits your needs.
Common Heart Conditions
Angina is chest pain or discomfort that usually occurs with activity or stress. Angina may feel like indigestion (or like an elephant just tromped on your chest) and is due to poor blood flow through the blood vessels in the heart.
Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure is a chronic condition that usually develops over time. The heart doesn't work as well as it should and can't pump enough blood throughout the body. As the heart's pumping increases, blood often becomes congested in your lungs, liver or legs, which can cause shortness of breath, leg swelling (edema) and a variety of other symptoms. In addition, organs begin to function improperly due to lack of oxygen and nutrients.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart condition and affects more than 13 million Americans each year - killing more than 385,000 people annually. Coronary artery disease is a result of plaque buildup in your arteries, which blocks blood flow and heightens the risk for heart attack and stroke.
If you have coronary artery disease, the coronary arteries become narrow making it difficult for blood to flow as well as it should due to hard plaque and/or blood clots. If the artery gets completely blocked, the heart muscle becomes "starved" for oxygen. Within a short time, death of heart muscle cells occurs, causing permanent damage. This is what's known as a heart attack. Learn about the warning signs of a heart attack.
A-fib, as it's commonly known, is a common form of arrhythmia (irregular or abnormal heart rhythm) that causes the atria, upper chambers of the heart, to contract abnormally.
Heart Valve Disease
There are two main types of heart valve disease. They are:
- Valvular stenosis: This occurs when there is narrowing, stiffening, thickening, fusion or blockage of one or more valves of your heart.
- Valvular insufficiency: Also called regurgitation, incompetence or "leaky valve," it occurs when a valve does not close tightly.
Sudden Cardiac Death
Sudden cardiac death is a sudden, unexpected death caused by loss of heart function.
Also know as an enlarged heart, this condition can have various causes, but is usually brought on by high blood pressure (hypertension) or coronary artery disease.
This is a progressive heart disease in which the heart is abnormally enlarged, thickened and/or rigid. As a result, the heart muscle's ability to pump blood is weakened, often causing heart failure and the backup of blood into the lungs or the rest of the body.