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Cardiovascular Disease Types

"Cardiovascular disease" refers to several diseases that affect your heart and blood vessels. Types of cardiovascular disease affecting the heart include syncope, rheumatic heart disease, and heart attack. Types affecting the blood vessels include stroke, high blood pressure, and aortic aneurism. Many kinds of cardiovascular disease share common risk factors (such as smoking and obesity), and most can be treated with lifestyle changes and medications.

An Overview of Cardiovascular Disease Types

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is not one single disease or condition. It is a group of different disorders that affect your heart and blood vessels. Some people are born with cardiovascular disease; others develop it during their lifetime. Because there are so many types of cardiovascular disease, it is often helpful to separate them into problems affecting the:
  • Heart (the "cardio" part of cardiovascular)
  • Blood vessels (the "vascular" part of cardiovascular).

Types of Cardiovascular Disease in the Heart

The cardiovascular disease types in the heart are more commonly known as heart diseases. What is sometimes a little confusing for people is that "heart disease" is a term more often used to describe the most common type of heart disease: coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease. But there are many other types of heart disease, including:



  • Arrhythmias, which are problems with the heart's electrical system that can cause fast, slow, or irregular heartbeats. These include:


    • Atrial fibrillation
    • Heart block, including first-degree AV block, second-degree AV block, and complete AV block
    • Premature atrial complex (PAC)
    • Atrial flutter
    • Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
    • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
    • Premature ventricular complex (PVC)
    • Ventricular tachycardia
    • Ventricular fibrillation
    • Long QT syndrome


  • Cardiomyopathy (a disease affecting the heart muscle itself), including:


    • Dilated cardiomyopathy
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    • Restrictive cardiomyopathy



    • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
    • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)
    • Patent ductus arteriosus
    • Pulmonic stenosis
    • Congenital aortic stenosis
    • Coarctation of aorta
    • Tetralogy of Fallot
    • Tricuspid atresia
    • Truncus arteriosus
    • Ebstein's anomaly of the tricuspid valve
    • Transposition of the great vessels


  • Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as heart disease, ischemic heart disease, or coronary heart disease (CHD)
  • Cor pulmonale, which is an enlarged right ventricle
  • Heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction or MI
  • Heart valve disease, such as:



  • Myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Pericarditis (inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart), including constrictive pericarditis
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Syncope
  • Cardiac tumor, with myxoma being the most common.
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