Heart disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases affecting the heart. As of 2007, it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.[Coronary heart disease refers to the failure of the coronary circulation to supply adequate circulation to cardiac muscle and surrounding tissue. Coronary heart disease is most commonly equated with Coronary artery disease although coronary heart disease can be due to other causes, such as coronary vasospasm.
Coronary artery disease is a disease of the artery caused by the accumulation of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the arteries that supply the myocardium. Angina pectoris (chest pain) and myocardial infarction (heart attack) are symptoms of and conditions caused by coronary heart disease.
Over 459,000 Americans die of coronary heart disease every year. In the United Kingdom, 101,000 deaths annually are due to coronary heart disease.
CardiomyopathyMain article: Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy literally means "heart muscle disease" (Myo= muscle, pathy= disease) It is the deterioration of the function of the myocardium (i.e., the actual heart muscle) for any reason. People with cardiomyopathy are often at risk of arrhythmia and/or sudden cardiac death.
Extrinsic cardiomyopathies – cardiomyopathies where the primary pathology is outside the myocardium itself. Most cardiomyopathies are extrinsic, because by far the most common cause of a cardiomyopathy is ischemia. The World Health Organization calls these specific cardiomyopathies:
Coronary artery disease
Congenital heart disease
Nutritional diseases affecting the heart
Ischemic (or ischaemic) cardiomyopathy
Valvular cardiomyopathy – see also Valvular heart disease below
Inflammatory cardiomyopathy – see also Inflammatory heart disease below
Cardiomyopathy secondary to a systemic metabolic disease
Intrinsic cardiomyopathies – weakness in the muscle of the heart that is not due to an identifiable external cause.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) – most common form, and one of the leading indications for heart transplantation. In DCM the heart (especially the left ventricle) is enlarged and the pumping function is diminished.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM or HOCM) – genetic disorder caused by various mutations in genes encoding sarcomeric proteins. In HCM the heart muscle is thickened, which can obstruct blood flow and prevent the heart from functioning properly.
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) – arises from an electrical disturbance of the heart in which heart muscle is replaced by fibrous scar tissue. The right ventricle is generally most affected.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) – least common cardiomyopathy. The walls of the ventricles are stiff, but may not be thickened, and resist the normal filling of the heart with blood.
Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy – the left ventricle wall has failed to properly grow from birth and such has a spongy appearance when viewed during an echocardiogram.
Cardiovascular diseaseMain article: Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is any of a number of specific diseases that affect the heart itself and/or the blood vessel system, especially the veins and arteries leading to and from the heart. Research on disease dimorphism suggests that women who suffer with cardiovascular disease usually suffer from forms that affect the blood vessels while men usually suffer from forms that affect the heart muscle itself. Known or associated causes of cardiovascular disease include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperhomocysteinemia and hypercholesterolemia
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