5 Major Heart Diseases, Causes, Symptoms and Risk factors

Types Of Heart Diseases-Causes-Symptoms

Heart is not just a biological organ that pumps blood to various parts of the body but it is also associated with numerous feelings and emotions. Be it excitement, anxiety, happiness, grief or sadness, Heart reacts, responds and reciprocate every such emotion. This is exactly why heart is considered as a mirror that reflects whole body activities and tasks. Because of such imperious functionality, many people are suffering with cardiac problems around the globe. For a better understanding here’s the list of 5 major cardiac diseases, their symptoms, causes & risk factors.


Coronary Heart Disease refers to the condition of patient where plaque builds up in the inner lining of coronary arteries which carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It is also known as Coronary Artery Disease or Atherosclerosis. Generally plague is a sticky substance formed out of fatty deposits (cholesterol) and other cellular waste. Plague accumulates in the blood capillaries, hardens with time and narrows the coronary arteries thereby obstructing the flow of blood. Eventually, this obstruction to blood flow to heart may cause heart damage and other complications.


  • Angina / Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Palpitations


  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Physical inactivity
  • Overweight
  • High stress
  • Family history


Heart valves work essentially to maintain one-way flow of blood across atria, ventricles to blood vessels that are connected to heart from lungs and body. Any structural changes such as stenosis (hardening) and prolapse and valve inefficiencies can lead to heart valve disease. Obstructing the normal blood flow, heart valves remain stretched allowing blood to flow backward. Also known as valvular heart disease, back flow of blood from ventricles into atria or from blood vessels (aorta and pulmonary artery) into ventricles reduces the efficiency of heart.


  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Discomfort in chest
  • Palpitations
  • Swelling in ankles, feet or abdomen
  • Rapid weight gain


  • Congenital (birth defects)
  • Rheumatic fever from untreated strep infection
  • Endocarditis
  • Syphilis
  • Mitral valve prolapse (flop back into atrium)
  • Heart attack
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)

Heart Diseases, Causes, Symptoms and Risk factors


Rheumatic Heart Disease marks the condition of patient where one or more heart valves are damaged. It is the result of inflamed heart caused by periodic rheumatic fever. Unlike other heart diseases, children are at higher risk of Rheumatic Heart Disease. It is 100% treatable if detected in the early stages.


  • Sore throat
  • Joint pains
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Red rashes
  • Difficulty in eating & swallowing
  • Thick, bloody discharge from nose
  • Tonsils that are red and swollen
  • Tonsils with white patches or pus
  • Small, red spots on the roof of their mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


  • Children aged between 5 to 15 years are at higher risk
  • Family history
  • Strep bacteria
  • Impure water
  • Overcrowding
  • Poor sanitation


Arrhythmias is a group of heart condition resulting from abnormal heart rhythm. A normal heart beats about 60 – 100 times a minute in a rhythmic and even fashion. In arrhythmias, the heart beats slow or quick or at irregular pace. A person may feel a flutter or skipping of a beat. Mostly, arrhythmias are harmless. Only severe and longstanding arrhythmia can compromise blood flow to the body and the heart itself.


  • Palpitation or skipped beat
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Pain or discomfort in chest


  • Error in the natural pacemaker, sinoatrial node
  • Conduction error through out heart



Typically caused by the infections during pregnancy, Congenital Heart Disease, also known as Congenital Heart Defect is the problem with the structure of heart that is present at the time of birth. Defects may be related to the walls, valves of the heart or the arteries / veins in the region around the heart. It alters normal flow of blood and in rare cases can cause severe damage to the body organs.


  • A bluish tint to the skin, fingernails, and lips
  • Shortness of breath
  • Problems with exercise
  • Poor weight gain
  • Poor feeding


  • Genes or chromosomes in the child
  • Alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy
  • Viral infections, like rubella
  • Taking certain medications

Before couple of decades, heart diseases were most common among the senior citizens but the recent studies illustrate shocking facts. Many cases are being reported at the early phase of life, particularly among the individuals aged between 20 to 30 years. This may be attributed to the increased work stress, disturbed work-life balance, and more. Causes and risk factors are many, but we cannot afford to ignore the warning signs. If you notice any such symptoms, it’s always better to fix an appointment with your cardiologist.

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