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Heart, section through the middle
Heart, section through the middle


Heart, front view
Heart, front view


Coronary artery blockage
Coronary artery blockage


Definition:

Heart disease is any disorder that affects the heart's ability to function normally. Various forms of heart disease include:



Alternative Names:

Cardiovascular disorders



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

The most common cause of heart disease is a narrowing of or blockage in the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle (coronary artery disease). Some heart diseases are present at birth (congenital heart disease).

Other causes include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Abnormal heart valve function
  • High blood pressure (hypertension )
  • Weakening of the heart's pumping ability, often caused by infection or toxins (cardiomyopathy)


Symptoms:



Signs and tests:



Treatment:



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:



Prevention:



References:

Criqui MH. Epidemiology of cardiovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 49.




Review Date: 10/5/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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