Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the United States, and this category of illness covers multiple types of cardiovascular problems.
One in every four deaths that occur in the country is related to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
These six types of heart disease are the most well-known:
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1. Rheumatic Heart Disease –
This occurs when the heart, and particularly the heart valves, were damaged by rheumatic fever, according to the World Heart Federation
. The illness usually occurs in young people and infection may occur afterward, leaving the heart valves scarred, weakening the heart muscle and doing other damage.
2. Atherosclerosis –
Many types of heart disease are related to atherosclerosis, which develops when plaque builds up on artery walls, WebMD said
. This narrowing of the arteries causes heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease, which is narrowing of the leg arteries caused by plaque.
3. Arrhythmia –
An abnormal heart rhythm, an arrhythmia can mean too slow, too fast or irregular heart beats. It can affect how well the heart works, according to the American Heart Association
, and it may not be able to pump enough blood.
4. Inflammatory Heart Disease –
This is characterized by inflammation that affects parts of the heart, including the muscle, the membrane sac, the inner lining of the heart, WHF said.
5. Heart Failure –
This occurs when part of the heart muscle is so damaged it can't adequately pump blood through your body, WHF said.
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6. Congenital Heart Disease –
A condition caused when you are born with malformations of the heart, congenital heart disease can include holes in the heart, abnormal valves and other issues.
No matter what kind of heart disease you have, there are risk factors that can cause or exacerbate it.
"Some risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age, cannot be changed," WHF said
. "Other risk factors that can be treated or changed include tobacco exposure, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes, unhealthy diets, and harmful use of alcohol."
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