Heart Failure: An Overview of Disease and Death

Written By Asfand Moosa on January 30, 2023

The phrase "heart disease" is used to describe a wide range of illnesses that have an effect on the cardiovascular system. Arrhythmias, heart failure, and congenital heart defects are all examples of cardiac issues. Diseases of the cardiovascular system, or cardiovascular disease (CVD), include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and many more. This includes coronary heart disease (CHD), coronary artery disease (CAD), and acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Even though CAD and ACS are often used interchangeably by medical professionals, they are distinct from coronary heart disease (CHD; Sanchis-Gomar, Fabian, et al., n/p.). ACS is a subtype of CAD, although CHD is the final result of the condition. Atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries characterizes coronary artery disease (CAD), but CAD may have no symptoms at all, whereas acute coronary syndromes (ACS) almost always present with an indication, such as unbalanced angina, and are regularly associated with myocardial infarction (MI), despite the presence of CAD. 

When the heart cannot pump enough blood, a disease known as heart failure develops. Heart failure is often brought on by a combination of factors, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a history of prior heart attacks. Heart failure may also be caused by birth abnormalities or issues with the heart's valves or muscles (cardiomyopathy) when plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to nature, a condition known as coronary artery disease (CAD). Because of this, the heart may not get enough oxygen-rich blood, which may weaken it and make it unable to pump efficiently. If you have hypertension, your heart may work harder than average, leading to enlargement and heart failure. Because of its impact on blood flow, diabetes is a significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease. The heart muscle might be permanently damaged after a previous heart attack, making it more susceptible to future attacks (Libby, Peter, et al.  n/p). When the heart's valves become constricted or leaky, blood flow is restricted, and the seat cannot adequately supply the body's needs. The heart muscle becomes weaker and unable to pump appropriately in cardiomyopathy. The risk of developing heart failure due to congenital cardiac problems is evident from birth. As a potentially fatal condition, heart failure demands careful attention. It is crucial to understand what puts one at risk for developing heart failure and then take measures to lower that risk. This involves not smoking, limiting junk food intake, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.

The most prevalent kind of heart disease and the main cause of death in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD). Plaque accumulation, a fatty material, may cause the arteries that carry blood to the heart to become restricted or obstructed, leading to coronary artery disease (Benjamin, Emelia, et al. n/p). Because of this, the heart may not get enough oxygen and nutrients, which may lead to pain and other symptoms. Cardiovascular disease risk factors include hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, tobacco use, and inactivity. Treatment options may include behavioral modifications, pharmaceuticals, and even surgery. Another term for a heart attack is myocardial infarction, which occurs when a portion of the heart muscle is either injured or dies due to a lack of oxygen. A blockage often brings on this condition in one or more of the coronary arteries, which the accumulation of plaque may bring on. Pain in the chest, difficulty breathing, and nausea are some symptoms. Even though they are frequently the cornerstones of treatment, medication, dietary changes, and even surgery may be required in very rare cases.

Congenital heart defects are anatomical abnormalities of the heart that are present at birth. Hereditary causes, diseases, or other environmental variables can bring about these conditions. The atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, and Fallot tetralogy are all common congenital heart abnormalities. An individual may receive treatment through medication, surgery, or lifestyle changes.

An irregular heartbeat, commonly known as an arrhythmia, can range from completely benign to extremely deadly. Atrial fibrillation and supraventricular tachycardia are both examples of common types of arrhythmia. Arrhythmia risk is increased by a number of illnesses, including heart disease, coronary artery disease, and hypertension. Medication changes to one's way of life or surgical procedures are all components of a treatment plan.

A disease known as heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump sufficient blood to fulfill the demands placed on it by the body. It may be attributed to various conditions, the most common of which are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The patient may have difficulty breathing, weariness, and swelling in the feet and ankles as symptoms of this condition. Modifications to the patient's lifestyle, medicine, and even surgery may be necessary for certain circumstances throughout treatment.

In conclusion, the broad spectrum of disorders that affect the heart and blood arteries are referred to as "heart diseases." Coronary heart disease, heart attacks, congenital heart defects, arrhythmias, and heart failure are the most prevalent types of heart disease. These disorders are made more dangerous by factors like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and inactivity. Surgery, medication, and lifestyle modifications are all potential forms of treatment.


Benjamin, Emelia J., et al. "Heart disease and stroke statistics—2017 update: a report from the American Heart Association." circulation 135.10 (2017): e146-e603

Libby, Peter, et al. Braunwald's Heart Disease-E-Book: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2021.

Sanchis-Gomar, Fabian, et al. "Epidemiology of coronary heart disease and acute coronary syndrome." Annals of translational medicine 4.13 (2016).