Acute coronary syndromes
A term that refers to situations where the blood-supply to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked, resulting in heart attacks and unstable angina.
Angina pectoris, commonly known as angina, is chest pain due to a lack of blood to the heart muscle. Worsening angina attacks are a sign of unstable angina that can lead to a heart attack.
Arrhythmia describes an abnormal heart rhythm. The heart can beat too slowly, too fast or irregularly affecting how well the heart works and how blood is pumped around the body.
Literally, this means heart muscle disease and cardiomyopathy refers to any disease that affects the muscle of the heart. Often leads to arrhythmia or sudden cardiac death.
Congenital heart disease
Refers to heart malformations that are present at birth. In many cases the cause is unknown but examples of the disease include “holes in the heart”, abnormal valves or abnormal heart chambers. All of which affect the heart’s ability to work normally.
Coronary heart disease
A disease where one or more of the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle becomes blocked. Blockage of these arteries means that some of the heart muscle becomes deprived of oxygen, which results in a heart attack.
Also known as congestive heart failure, this is a condition where the heart is not pumping enough blood to meet the needs of the body. It is a progressive disease where the heart starts to work harder to meet the body’s need until it can no longer sustain the effort needed.
Inflammatory heart disease
Inflammatory heart disease involves inflammation of the heart muscle and/or the tissue surrounding it.
Ischaemic heart disease
Ischaemic heart disease is characterized by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle i.e. myocardium. Rheumatic heart disease
An acquired heart disease that is caused by rheumatic fever, which itself is caused by a preceding group A streptococcal (strep) infection of the throat. If left untreated this disease affects the valves of the heart and can eventually lead to serious complications or even death.
Valvular disease describes a disease of the valves within the heart that are needed to regulate blood flow. Valve disease means that the valves either don’t open enough to allow blood to flow freely or they don’t close effectively and blood can flow backwards.