Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Heart Problems You Should Know About

        Health | Heart

1
Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease is an umbrella term; it encompasses many ailments that can occur to the heart and the blood vessels. It includes diseases of the arteries, such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), as well as some conditions we've already discussed, such as arrhythmias and congenital defects. Angina, which occurs when the heart doesn't get enough blood and causes chest pains, is a part of coronary heart disease, as is a heart attack.

Let's discuss that last one -- heart attack. Heart attacks occur when a clot or a blockage obstructs blood flow to the heart. While movies and television shows make heart attacks seem like grand, theatrical events, they're not always so easy to recognize. Discomfort in the chest is the major symptom, but it's also possible to feel pain in the arms, back, neck and stomach (women in particular tend to exhibit these non-traditional symptoms). Other symptoms of a heart attack include shortness of breath, excessive sweating and nausea.

Heart conditions may sound scary, but we've got lots more information about risk factors and treatments. When it comes to your heart, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way, so start clicking!


More to Explore