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Chronic heart disease is a type of cardiovascular disease that affects your heart function repeatedly and over time. Examples of chronic heart diseases include:
The symptoms of chronic heart disease vary, depending on the type of heart disease you have.
Some individuals may not notice any symptoms until they have a heart attack or experience heart failure. To prevent, diagnose and treat heart disease early, you should attend health screenings regularly.
CAD, also known as ischaemic heart disease, is the most common type of cardiovascular disease. It occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood and oxygen, and may not cause any noticeable symptoms until a serious cardiac event occurs. Men and women may experience CAD symptoms differently.
As plaque builds up in your coronary arteries, you may experience chest pain (angina) during exercise or under stress. Find out more about the symptoms of CAD.
Heart defects that exist from birth are known as CHD. Many CHDs do not result in clear symptoms. However, serious or multiple CHD can cause symptoms such as blue skin, chest pain and fainting. Find out more about the symptoms of CHD.
Your symptoms depend on whether you have an abnormally rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) or slow heartbeat (bradycardia).
Symptoms of an abnormally rapid heartbeat include breathlessness, dizziness, palpitations and lightheadedness. Symptoms of an abnormally slow heartbeat include chest pain, breathlessness, trouble concentrating and confusion. Find out more about the symptoms of heart arrhythmias.
Heart failure is a serious condition which may lead to sudden death in a minority of individuals. Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, fatigue, leg or abdominal swelling, or breathlessness when lying flat. Find out more about the symptoms of heart failure.
Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease that can sometimes lead to heart failure and heart arrhythmia. Common symptoms of cardiomyopathy include:
Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure in the blood vessels leading from the heart to the lungs. In the early stages, you may not notice any symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, you may experience increased shortness of breath, fatigue, and dizziness. Find out more about the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
In most cases, valvular heart disease develops slowly and may go unnoticed for many years. Some symptoms to take note of are:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, visit the A&E immediately:
The causes of chronic heart diseases depend on the specific type of heart disease.
CAD is most commonly caused by a build-up of fatty plaque in your arteries (atherosclerosis). This disease can be attributed to non-modifiable risk factors such as age and gender as well as modifiable risk factors such as unhealthy lifestyle habits. Find out more about the causes of CAD.
While the causes of CHD are mostly unknown, several risk factors include chromosomal abnormalities and genetic defects such as Down syndrome. Find out more about the causes of CHD.
Heart arrhythmias are commonly associated with other heart-related conditions such as CAD, congenital heart disease and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Possible causes of heart arrhythmia include certain medications, problems with electrical signals in the heart and injury to the heart. Find out more about the causes of heart arrhythmia.
Heart failure often happens in association with other pre-existing heart conditions. It may be sudden or develop over many years. Common causes of heart failure include:
Find out more about the causes of heart failure.
Known causes of cardiomyopathy include:
The exact cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension is unknown. Possible causes include liver cirrhosis, congenital heart abnormalities, and connective tissue disorders such as scleroderma.
You may be born with valvular heart disease, or your valves may be damaged by:
The following risk factors increase the likelihood of chronic heart disease:
Although certain types of heart disease can't be prevented, the following lifestyle habits can improve your heart health:
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