Understanding Heart Disease

Heart disease is a term used for a variety of different diseases affecting the heart. While certain diseases may be congenital or genetic, some are a result of lifestyle factors and can be prevented.

Types of heart disease include:

Coronary heart disease – Fatty deposits fill up the lining of the walls of the arteries of the heart and can thicken, calcify and narrow to the point where they constrict the flow of blood, which can in turn cause a blood clot, depriving the heart tissue of oxygen.

Cardiomyopathy – a progressive type of heart disease where the heart becomes enlarged, stiffened or thickened, often resulting in heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms and the backup of blood into the lungs or rest of the body.

Heart failure – occurring when the body cannot pump enough blood to satisfy the needs of the body resulting in fluid retention in the lungs, abdomen and legs as well as pooling of blood inside the heart and veins close by.

Prevention

– If you have high blood cholesterol levels, take steps to reduce these

– Make sure you maintain a healthy weight

– Enjoy a low-fat diet

– Exercise daily

– Don’t smoke

– Make sure your blood pressure levels are controlled

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