The heart is at the core of your circulatory system. It is responsible for pumping blood in your body through the arteries and veins. According to the World Health Organization, heart disease or cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally, taking about 17.9 million lives every year.
There are various types of cardiovascular diseases, and each one targets specific parts of the heart or cardiovascular system. For instance, congenital heart defects pertain to heart problems that a person is born with and can affect different parts of the heart. Meanwhile, coronary artery disease develops when plaque clogs the arteries.
Because there are different types of heart disease, each medical condition will show its own symptoms, and treatment options will vary. Some conditions are manageable by changing one’s lifestyle and taking maintenance medications, while others will require surgery.
What Causes Heart Disease?
Various factors can lead to individuals developing cardiovascular disease, some of which are more difficult to control or manage. The most common heart disease causes are as follows:
- High blood pressure – If left untreated, the arteries can harden and thicken, and the blood vessels turn narrow, which can cause damage to the heart.
- High cholesterol levels – Increased levels of cholesterol can cause the build-up of plaque in the blood vessels. When it gets difficult for the blood to circulate, it can boost the risk of developing a blood clot.
- Family history – If your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, your risk of developing it is higher.
- Smoking – Since nicotine can narrow the blood vessels, smoking and consuming tobacco products can elevate the risk of developing heart disease.
Guide to Heart Disease: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Cardiovascular disease or heart disease is preventable and treatable if diagnosed early. Changing your daily habits and lifestyle to lower your chances of heart disease is also possible. To better understand heart diseases—their types, causes, symptoms, and treatment, check out the helpful guide below.