Heart disease

Alternative names
Cardiovascular disorders

Definition

Heart disease is any disorder that affects the heart’s ability to function normally. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart itself. This happens slowly over time.

Some heart diseases can be present at birth (congenital heart diseases).

Other causes include the following:

     
  • Abnormal function of the heart valves  
  • Abnormal electrical rhythm of the heart  
  • Weakening of the heart’s pumping function caused by infection or toxins

Various forms of heart disease include:

 

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2012
by Simon D. Mitin, M.D.

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