What are the different types of heart disease?
Important types of heart diseases are congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, ischemic heart disease and inflammatory heart disease. Congenital heart diseases are birth defects of the heart. Though they are present at birth, they need not manifest at birth. Many of them manifest only in adult life. Rheumatic heart disease is a sequelae of rheumatic fever and affects predominantly the valves of the heart, leading to valvular heart disease. Hypertensive heart disease occurs due to high blood pressure. Ischemic heart disease is due to decreased blood supply to the heart, usually as a result of partial or complete blocks in the coronary arteries which supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. Inflammatory heart disease could be secondary to infection or due to abnormal immune mechanisms. It can involve any of the three layers of the heart. Disease of the outer layer is known as pericarditis. Muscular part of the heart is involved in myocarditis. Inner layer is involved in endocarditis. Endocarditis is mostly infections of the heart valves which are derived from the inner layer (endocardium). Endocarditis most often occurs in valves which have been already damaged by some other disease like rheumatic heart disease. Another form of heart disease is cardiomyopathy in which heart muscle is primarily diseased. There are several varieties of cardiomyopathies or heart muscle disorders, some of which can also be inherited or run in families. Tumors though rare, can sometimes occur in the heart. Tumors of the heart are most often secondary, spreading from diseases elsewhere in the body, though primary ones are also seen occasionally.
Any of these forms of heart diseases, if severe, can lead to failure of the functions of the heart (heart failure). In addition to these different types of heart disease mentioned above, there are several disorders of the heart rhythm or electrical disorders of the heart (cardiac arrhythmia). Heart rhythm disorders can also lead to heart failure if the heart rate remains high for a long period. Heart rhythm disorders can be associated with other structural disorders of the heart listed above.