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Heart disease

Heart disease: Introduction

Heart disease is a general name for a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions that affect the heart and sometimes the blood vessels as well. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States, and more than a million Americans have myocardial infarctions, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute.

Types of heart disease includes angina, heart attack (myocardial infarction), atherosclerosis, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, and cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Other forms of heart disease include congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathy, infections of the heart, coronary artery disease, heart valve disorders, myocarditis, and pericarditis.

Symptoms of heart disease vary depending on the specific type of heart disease. A classic symptom of heart disease is chest pain. However, with some forms of heart disease, such as atherosclerosis, there may be no symptoms in some people until life-threatening complications develop. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of heart disease.

Risk factors for developing heart disease include having hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia), obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include being of African-American ancestry, male, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, having a lot of long-term stress, smoking and having a family history of a heart attack at an early age.

Certain congenital heart defects can run in families and/or be caused by exposure during pregnancy to specific toxins. Pregnant women with some conditions and diseases can have a higher risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect.

People who have high C-protein levels, which increases atherosclerosis, are also at a higher risk for heart disease. In addition, people who have high homocysteine levels, which may damage artery walls and increase the risk of clots, are also at an increased risk.

Making a diagnosis of heart disease includes completing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination. A comprehensive evaluation from a licensed health care professional includes compiling and analysing many factors that impact heart disease risk. These include lifestyle, family history, personal history, dietary habits, weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, stress levels, and smoking/drinking habits.

Tests that may be used to diagnose heart disease or the risk of heart disease include blood tests, exercise stress testing, EKG, X-Ray, and imaging tests, such as heart scan, ultrasound and echocardiogram. A coronary angiogram may be dome in certain cases. A coronary angiogram is an invasive procedure that reveals which coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked.

It is very possible that a diagnosis of heart disease can be missed or delayed because there may be no symptoms and for other reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of heart disease.

Heart disease is treated with an individualized treatment plan that best fits the individual case of heart disease, a person's life style and other factors. Treatment involves regular medical monitoring and testing, lifestyle and dietary changes, and may include medications and surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of heart disease....more »

Heart disease: Misdiagnosis

Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease is vital to preventing serious, even life threatening complications, such as cardiac arrest and death.

A diagnosis of heart disease may be overlooked or delayed because there may be no symptoms in some forms of heart disease, such as atherosclerosis, especially in early stages. Regular medical care is the best way ...more misdiagnosis »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Heart disease

Home medical tests possibly related to Heart disease:

Causes of Types of Heart disease:

Review causes of more specific types of Heart disease:

Heart disease: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Heart disease, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Heart disease Treatments

Treatment of heart disease begins with prevention. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or controlled effectively with prevention measures that include regular exercise, not smoking or drinking excessively, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a heart-healthy well-balanced diet. Risk factors, such as high cholesterol, ...Heart disease Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Heart disease may include:

  • Aspirin - low-dose aspirin may be used to avoid heart attacks. However, because of side effects and risks it is not usually recommended for healthy individuals. Rather, mainly for those with existing heart problems or previous conditions.
  • Digitalis - makes the heart pump harder, also helps some heart rhythm problems.
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Beta-blocker
  • Nitrate (including nitroglycerine)
  • Calcium-channel blocker (CCB)
  • Diuretic
  • more treatments...»

Review further information on Heart disease Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Heart disease

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Heart disease may include:

Stories from Users for Heart disease

Real-life user stories relating to Heart disease:

Heart disease: Animations

Medications or substances causing Heart disease:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Heart disease as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Heart disease:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Heart disease as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Semprex-D and over-the-counter drugs that relieve cold symptoms interaction
  • Trinalin Repetabs and over-the-counter drugs that relieve cold symptoms interaction
  • Brofed Liquid and over-the-counter drugs that relieve cold symptoms interaction
  • Bromfed and over-the-counter drugs that relieve cold symptoms interaction
  • Bromfed-PD and over-the-counter drugs that relieve cold symptoms interaction
  • Bromfenex and over-the-counter drugs that relieve cold symptoms interaction
  • Bromfenex PD and over-the-counter drugs that relieve cold symptoms interaction
  • Dallergy-JR and over-the-counter drugs that relieve cold symptoms interaction
  • more interactions...»

Heart disease: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Heart disease may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Heart disease

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Heart disease:

Heart disease: Deaths

Read more about causes and Heart disease deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Heart disease

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have more »

Rare undiagnosed iron disorder causes various severe conditions: The rare "iron overload" disorder, hemochromatosis, can cause a variety of symptoms and result in various severe conditions that mimic several of the big more »

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal. It should more »

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, more »

Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's, whereas there are many other less severe more »

Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions, such as a stroke or more »

Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as benign essential tremor, which is more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test more »

Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. more »

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in children. Some of the more »

Heart disease: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Heart disease

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Heart disease:

Heart disease: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Heart disease: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Heart disease

Cardiovascular disease includes heart disease and stroke. About 57 million Americans live with some form of cardiovascular disease, which causes more than 40% of all deaths in the United States; 950,000 Americans every year. Heart disease and stroke cost the nation almost $260 billion annually. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Cardiovascular Disease: CDC-OC)

Coronary heart disease, the most common form of heart disease, affects the blood vessels (or coronary arteries) of the heart. It causes angina (chest pain) and heart attacks. Women over the age of 40 are more at risk for this disease because heart-related problems tend to increase with age. And, Black women are more likely to die of coronary heart disease than are White women. The good news is that you can do something about preventing this disease. High blood pressure and cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and not being physically active all put you at greater risk for coronary heart disease. (Source: excerpt from HEART AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: NWHIC)

Definitions of Heart disease:

A disease of the heart
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Detailed list of causes of Heart disease

The list below shows some of the causes of Heart disease mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Heart disease?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Heart disease. Of the 106 causes of Heart disease that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 6 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 5 causes are "common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 2 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 4 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 99 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Heart disease:

The following list of conditions have 'Heart disease' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Heart disease or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Heart disease:

The following list of medical conditions have Heart disease or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.















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Causes of Heart disease Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Heart disease based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Classifications of Heart disease:

    Medical Conditions associated with Heart disease:

    Heart symptoms (2927 causes), Cardiovascular symptoms (3192 causes)

    Symptoms related to Heart disease:

    Chest pain (1053 causes), Chest tightness (166 causes), Angina (41 causes), Heart symptoms (2927 causes), Myocardial infarction (38 causes), MI, Myocardial ischemia (1 cause), Coronary artery disease (106 causes), Atherosclerosis (35 causes), Hypertension (398 causes), Angioplasty, Angiography, Valvular dysfunction, Arrhythmias (172 causes), Fibrillations, Flutter, ECG, Treadmill test, Ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, tetrology of fallot

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Heart disease

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Heart disease and many other medical conditions:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Heart disease

    Medical research papers related to Heart disease include:

    Research More Evidence-Based Medicine at

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Heart disease:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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