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Heart Conditions

Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a common disorder of the main blood vessel in the center of the body. An aneurysm is an abnormal enlargement of the blood vessel and may be due to a variety of causes.

Many people attend social events and, in some instances, drink alcoholic beverages. Most people do not realize that alcohol consumption has an effect on the heart that, in rare cases, may be serious. Alcohol is a depressant drug on most tissues of the body. The most apparent depressant effect is on the brain and nervous system. Several unseen effects on the heart are also very important.

Amyloid Heart Disease, also known as cardiac amyloidosis is a disorder caused by deposits of an abnormal protein in the heart tissue. These deposits make it hard for the heart to work properly.

Angina pectoris is a discomfort in the chest, neck, back, or arms caused by an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. Angina occurs most commonly in people with coronary atherosclerosis, a condition in which blockages develop in the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood. Other causes of angina include:

Aortic insufficiency may only affect some five out of every 10,000 people, but it’s a serious disorder. Aortic insufficiency is a heart valve disease in which the aortic valve weakens or balloons, preventing the valve from closing tightly. This leads to the backward flow — or regurgitation — of blood from the aorta into the heart.

Aortic Stenosis is a common condition when the aortic valve, a crucial doorway that opens to let blood out of the heart, then closes to protect the heart from back flow, becomes very narrow, straining the heart's ability to deliver blood to the rest of the body. This can result in fatigue, fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain and even sudden death

A recent study, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, has pointed out the increased risk of irregular heartbeat in men with sleep apnea.

Atherosclerosis is a disease process affecting the arterial system of the body. The arterial system of the body is that system of blood vessels that carries blood away from the heart to the body organs.

Athlete's heart describes changes in the heart’s size and thickness of heart muscle resulting from intense athletic training. The changes allow the heart to supply needed oxygen and blood to the body during exercise.

Atrial fibrillation is a condition that results in irregularity of the heartbeat, due to the loss of coordinated electrical activity in the upper chambers of the heart. Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common irregularities of the heartbeat. It affects patients of all ages, although it is far more common in older segments of the population.

Unfortunately, both cancer and heart disease are common in our society. It is not uncommon for heart disease specialists to encounter patients who also have cancer. In treating patients who have both cancer and heart disease, special care must be given to both disorders, in order to provide optimum care.

Carcinoid Syndrome is a group of symptoms associated with carcinoid tumors. These are tumors of the small intestine, colon, appendix and bronchial tubes in the lungs. The tumors associated with carcinoid syndrome are rare and often slow growing. Carcinoid syndrome occurs in very few people with carcinoid tumors.

Chest pain is a very common complaint in the doctor's office. All of us, at one time or another, have experienced this unpleasant sensation. Many illnesses, however, may produce chest discomfort, and it is frequently a difficult job to identify its cause. Diseases that may provoke chest discomfort include lung problems such as pneumonia or bronchitis, stomach and digestive disorders such as ulcer disease and esophageal reflux, and the most feared type of chest pain: the type that is caused by heart disease.

Chest wall defects (Pectus excavatum) is a medical term that describes an abnormal formation of the rib cage that gives the chest a caved-in or sunken appearance.

Cholesterol is necessary for your body to work properly, and your body actually makes all the cholesterol you need. Too much cholesterol can accumulate depending on the kind of foods you eat and the rate at which your body breaks it down.

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is a problem with the heart's structure and function that is present at birth.

You or a loved one has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Now what?

One of the best things you can do for yourself is understand the condition and how to manage it on a daily basis. You can maintain a high quality of life with heart failure, but it will take commitment and a few lifestyle adjustments on your part. It's also crucial to find a cardiologist who's right for you.

Constrictive heart disease, or constrictive pericarditis, is long-term inflammation of the sac-like covering of the heart, or pericardium, with thickening and scarring.

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood and nutrients to the organs of the body. In the heart, these are called coronary arteries.

Coronary artery disease (CAD), or simply heart disease, is the number one killer in America. While coronary artery disease has no known cure, medical advances are helping more patients diagnosed with CAD live long, full lives.

The formation of blood clots in the veins of the legs is a frequent cause of hospitalization and may lead to serious complications. This disease, called deep venous thrombosis (DVT), may afflict anyone at any age. It is likely to occur in several situations. One is when a patient is forced to lay in bed for several days due to some other illness. A second is during long periods of travel, particularly in cramped quarters such as an airplane, car or truck. Other diseases, such as cancer, may make a person more likely to develop blood clots as well.

Diastolic dysfunction is a major factor in pulmonary hypertension. It is caused by stiff heart muscles that can’t relax, causing blood to pool in the organs rather than flowing to the heart’s ventricles.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that makes it difficult for the heart to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. It is caused by a weakened and enlarged heart muscle.

Heart attack. The very words cause fear and apprehension. In the United States, almost 1.5 million heart attacks occur each year. But what is a heart attack, how can it be recognized, and what should you do if a heart attack strikes?

Heart block is a problem in the electrical signals of the heart. It occurs when the electrical signal is slowed down or does not reach the bottom chambers of the heart. Your heart may beat slowly, or it may skip beats. Heart block may go away on its own, or it may be permanent and require treatment.

Hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach extends through an opening of the diaphragm into the chest. The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle that divides the chest from the abdomen.

All of us have had, at one time or another, our blood pressure measured in a doctor's office or at a health fair. Although amazingly simple to do, the results are vitally important to your health.

Everyone has and needs blood pressure, but high blood pressure is a disease. According to the American Heart Association, one in every three adults has high blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension. The reality is, even if you don't have high blood pressure, someone you know probably does. The good news is that high blood pressure is preventable and correctable.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick. Often, one part of the heart is thicker than the other parts.

If a cancer or lesion is within a lobe of the lung, removal of the involved lobe may be indicated. Under general anesthesia with the patient deep asleep and pain free, an incision is made between the ribs to expose the lung.

Marfan Syndrome is a disorder of the connective tissue. Disorders of connective tissue affect the cardiovascular system, skeletal system, eyes and skin.

Over the course of the last several years, a number of factors that increase the risk of heart and blood vessel disease have been identified. Many people understand the health implications of tobacco use and high blood pressure in this regard. A very important group of risk factors, known collectively as the metabolic syndrome, have now moved into the forefront in risk reduction efforts.

If you’ve been diagnosed with mitral regurgitation (MR), you’re not alone. This little-known disease affects some two million people in the United States. Mitral regurgitation is a heart valve disorder caused by the improper closing of the mitral valve when the heart pumps out blood to the body.

Mitral stenosis is a disorder in which the mitral valve does not fully open. This restricts the flow of blood. Adults may have not symptoms. However, symptoms may appear or get worse with exercise or other activity that raises the heart rate. Symptoms will most often develop between ages 20 and 50.

A myocardial bridge happens when a coronary artery is surrounded by the heart’s muscle. Typically, the coronary artery lies on top of the heart. People are born with a myocardial bridge and about one-third do not realize that they have the condition.

Pericardial cysts are benign, or noncancerous, tumors in the heart. They are not common, have few symptoms and typically are diagnosed by chance.

Pericardial effusion is abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pericardial cavity. A pericardial fluid culture is a test performed on a sample of fluid from the sac surrounding the heart. It is done to identify organisms that cause infection.

Hardening of the arteries of the body (called atherosclerosis) is a common problem in our society. This is, in fact, the process that causes the artery blockages that result in heart attack and stroke. When these blockages occur in the arteries that give blood and oxygen to the arms and legs, it is called peripheral vascular disease. Although atherosclerosis may develop in the blood vessels of the arms, it is by far more common in the blood vessels of the legs.

A Premature Atrial Contraction (PAC) is an unusual heart rhythm, also called an arrhythmia. A PAC results when the heart’s electrical system causes an extra heartbeat in its upper chambers or atria.

A Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC) is an extra contraction or heartbeat. PVCs interrupt your regular heart rhythm and can cause a fluttering feeling in your chest. PVCs are the result of your heart’s electrical system triggering an extra heartbeat in the lower chambers or ventricles of the heart.

A Pulmonary Embolus is a blocked artery in the lungs. The most common cause of the block is a blood clot.

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs. It happens when the lung's tiny arteries narrow or become blocked. To keep blood flowing through these narrowed blood vessels, pressure increases in the arteries, which makes the lower right ventricle, or chamber, of your heart work harder. Eventually your heart begins to weaken and fail.

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a heart valve disorder that involves the pulmonary valve. This is the valve separating the right ventricle (one of the chambers in the heart) and the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery carries oxygen-poor blood to the lungs.

Restrictive heart disease, or restrictive cardiomyopathy, refers to a set of changes in how the heart muscle functions. These changes cause the heart to fill poorly (more common) or squeeze poorly (less common). Sometimes both problems are present.

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart does not pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body's tissues.

Normally, the heartbeat starts in an area in the top chambers of the heart. This area is the heart's pacemaker. It may be called the sinoatrial node, sinus node or SA node. Sick sinus syndrome is a group of heart rhythm conditions due to problems with the sinus node, such as:

It's easy to take for granted the most basic human skills until they are compromised. Think of the host of skills and abilities you've fine-tuned over your lifetime: walking, eating, writing, typing, speaking, reading. These are things we do every day with minimal effort — they feel like second nature.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the loss of blood flow through the heart that causes the heart to stop beating. If not treated immediately, death will occur. Sudden heart failure is different from a heart attack, which is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) is an abnormally fast heartbeat. SVT is a common name for many types of heart rhythm problems that begin above the ventricles in the heart’s upper chambers or atria. Many people with SVT can regulate their rapid heartbeats with treatments.

Syncope is the medical term for fainting. It happens when your brain doesn't get enough blood flow and you lose consciousness. Usually a slow heart rate causes a drop in blood pressure, which reduces blood flow to the brain. In most cases, you recover within seconds or minutes. A small number of people, mostly the elderly, have episodes of fainting.

Takotsubo is a temporary heart condition that typically occurs in women aged 58 to 70. Japanese researchers discovered this condition in 1990. Most people with takotsubo recover without lasting damage to their heart.

People who suffer from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome experience pain and numbness or tingling in their extremities. The condition is due to the compression of the nerves or blood vessels just below the neck.

Blockage of the upper airway occurs when the upper breathing passages become narrowed or blocked, making it hard to breathe. Areas in the upper airway that can be affected are the windpipe (trachea), voice box (larynx) or throat (pharynx).

Tricuspid regurgitation is a disorder in which the tricuspid valve does not close tight enough. This problem causes blood to flow backward into the right upper heart chamber (atrium) when the right lower heart chamber (ventricle) contracts.

Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) is a severely abnormal heart rhythm that is life threatening.

Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) is a rapid heartbeat that starts in the lower chambers of the heart.

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