Cardiovascular Disease Types
Common Cardiovascular Disease Types
As you can see, there are many types of cardiovascular disease. The following sections provide detailed descriptions of the most common types, including:
Atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis (thickening and hardening of the arteries). As we age, some hardening of the arteries can occur naturally. When a person has atherosclerosis, the inner walls of the arteries become narrower due to a buildup of plaque. Plaque results from deposits of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. Blood clots form, thus blocking the blood flow. This can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Risk factors for atherosclerosis include:
Coronary Heart Disease (or Coronary Artery Disease)
Coronary heart disease, the most common cardiovascular type, affects the blood vessels (or coronary arteries) of the heart. It causes angina (chest pain) and heart attacks. The good news is that you can do something about heart disease. Risk factors for coronary heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Not being physically active.
Angina is a pain or discomfort in the chest that happens when some part of the heart does not receive enough blood. It often feels like a pressing or squeezing pain, generally in the chest under the breastbone, but sometimes in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. The most common trigger for angina is physical exertion. Other triggers include:
- Emotional stress
- Extreme cold or heat
Angina seldom causes permanent damage to the heart, unlike a heart attack. A heart attack happens when the blood flow to a part of the heart is suddenly and permanently cut off.