Understanding the Different Types of Heart Disease

Understanding the Different Types of Heart Disease

There are some serious and frightening associations with the umbrella term, “heart disease,” and for good reason. To start, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming one in four deaths. 

To help you better understand what heart disease encompasses, the team of cardiology experts here at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, pulled together the most common types. 

Before we begin, however, we want to underscore another statistic — 200,000 deaths related to heart disease and stroke could have been prevented, which is why it’s terribly important that you understand, and stay one step ahead of, heart disease. 

Coronary artery disease

The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects more than 18 million over the age of 20 in the US. CAD, which is also called ischemic heart disease, occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries leading away from your heart, hampering your heart’s ability to efficiently deliver oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body.


Under ideal circumstances, your heart beats regularly — about 60-100 times a minute. When you have an arrhythmia, there’s a problem with your heart’s rhythm, which can lead to:

Some arrhythmias are only mild, while others serious problems and require medications or devices like a pacemaker.


This condition occurs when your arteries begin to harden because of plaque buildup. This condition can lead to dangerous consequences, such as heart attack, stroke, blood clot, or aneurysm.


Your heart is made of muscle, and if this muscle becomes diseased, the walls of the chambers of your heart can become stretched, thickened, or stiff, which compromises function. Cardiomyopathy can lead to serious conditions like congenital heart failure.

Congenital heart defects

As the name implies, congenital heart defects are those that are present at birth.


A bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection that damages your heart.

Diagnosing and managing heart disease

One of the problems when it comes to heart disease is that many forms show no outward signs until it’s too late and the unthinkable happens, such as a heart attack or stroke.

It’s important that you undergo routine heart health checks with us here, especially if you have certain risk factors, such as:

Many of these factors can be mitigated, which can greatly improve your heart health by halting or even reversing your heart disease, especially in the earlier stages.

If you want to learn more about heart disease, please contact our office in Mountain View, California, to set up an appointment.

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