What are the 7 common heart diseases?

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Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of mortality, accounting for 17.3 million losses of lives per year WHO says that the numbers are expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030. There are many heart diseases, and each one has its own symptoms and treatment.  

Certain lifestyle changes and medicines can make a great deal of difference in improving the health of many. However, a few other surgical and interventional procedures might be required to make the heart work well again.

This blog gives insight into some of the common types of heart disease, otherwise called Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVD), and ways to prevent them and how they are treated.  

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is one of the most common heart problems. A person may develop CAD if the coronary arteries have blockages in the vessels that deliver blood to the heart. This can cause a decrease in the blood flow to the heart muscle, preventing it from getting the oxygen it needs. The disease is usually caused by Atherosclerosis, also known as the hardening of the arteries.

Coronary heart disease can lead to  heart attack which presents itself clinically as angina.

Risk factors of Coronary Artery Disease

  •  5%–10% of heart attacks occur in Indian men and women younger than 40 years
  • In men with mean age of 53, the risk is higher.
  • For women, the risk goes up sharply after menopause
  • Being inactive
  • Being diabetic
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Genetic Factors  
  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL levels (bad cholesterol) or low HDL levels (good cholesterol)
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Heart Arrhythmias

Abnormal heartbeat patterns characterize arrhythmia. Various other heart disorders can cause serious Arrhythmias, but they can also develop on their own.

Various types of Heart Arrhythmias

  • Brady arrhythmias  
  • Inherited arrhythmias – syndromes like congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS),  Brugada syndrome (BrS) etc.
  • Supraventricular arrhythmias
  • Ventricular arrhythmias

Heart failure

Heart failure results when the heart does not pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. CAD most often causes it, but it can also be caused by Thyroid disease, high blood pressure, Cardiomyopathy or Anemia.

Heart valve disease

An abnormality could make it difficult for a valve to open or close properly. If this happens, blood flow could be restricted or blood could leak. The valve may fail to open and close right.

As a result of a heart attack or infection such as Rheumatic fever, congenital heart disease, Marfan’s disease, high blood pressure or coronary artery disease, heart valve problems can occur.

The following diseases affect the heart valves:


Infections of the heart are commonly caused by bacteria that enter the blood during illness, surgery or when using intravenous drugs. It is usually caused by valve problems already present. It is usually treatable with antibiotics, but the condition can be life-threatening if left untreated. A heart valve replacement may be necessary if Endocarditis severely damages the heart valves.

Rheumatic heart disease 

The condition is caused by the damage the Rheumatic fever causes to the heart muscle and valves, which is linked to strep throat.

Earlier in the 20th century, rheumatic heart disease was more prevalent. Today, antibiotics are used to treat the diseases that cause it in order to prevent it. The symptoms of the disease are usually prevalent many years after the phase of infection.

Pericardial disease

Any disease of the pericardium, which is the sac that surrounds the heart, is known as pericardial disease. One of the more common diseases affecting the pericardium is pericarditis, or, in simple terms, it is the inflammation of the pericardium.

It’s commonly caused by an infection with a virus, inflammatory diseases such as lupus or Rheumatoid arthritis or injury to your pericardium. Pericarditis is often treated by open-heart surgery.

Cardiomyopathy (Heart muscle disease)

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the myocardium or the heart muscle. The disease occurs when the myocardium gets stretched, thickened or stiff. As a result, the heart may become too weak to pump well.

It can be caused by genetic heart conditions, certain drugs (eg: monoclonal antibodies , cyclophosphamides etc) , toxins (such as lead , nicotine, etc.)and alcohol, as well as viral infections. Chemotherapy is sometimes one of the factors causing Cardiomyopathy, and there is still no exact reason why it is caused.  

Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart disease is caused due to some congenital disabilities while a baby’s heart is forming, which can be diagnosed. The heart abnormality can cause problems right after birth, but the baby may not experience symptoms until he or she is an adult.

A septal abnormality is one of the most common congenital heart defects.

The child grows up into an adult having a defect in the heart which can be rectified in time by appropriate treatment modalities.

There is also an abnormality called Pulmonary stenosis. A narrow valve reduces blood flow to your lungs. The valve can be opened or replaced through surgery.

A small blood vessel known as the ductus arteriosus doesn’t close as it should at birth in some babies. As a result, some blood can leak back into your pulmonary artery, straining your heart. This is mostly treated with surgery or an interventional procedure or sometimes with medication depending on its severity.


Cardiac conditions, though manageable by life long life style modifications, the important changing factor is getting diagnosed earlier which can aid in effective treatment. Many people live a full and active life with such common heart diseases by adapting to new lifestyle.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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