An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel, much like a bulge on an over-inflated inner tube. Aneurysms are dangerous because they may burst, and are usually treated surgically. Click here to learn more.
Angina pectoris is the medical term for chest pain or discomfort due to coronary heart disease. Typical angina is uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest. The discomfort also may be felt in the neck, jaw, shoulder, back or arm. Click here to learn more.
Arrhythmias (or dysrhythmias) are problems that affect the electrical system of the heart muscle, producing abnormal heart rhythms. They can cause the heart to pump less effectively. Click here to learn more.
Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the heart's inner lining (endocardium) or the heart valves. This can damage or even destroy your heart valves. Click here to learn more.
Cardiac arrest is the sudden, abrupt loss of heart function. The victim may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. It's also called sudden cardiac arrest or unexpected cardiac arrest. Click here to learn more.
Congenital Cardiovascular Defect
Congenital means inborn or existing at birth. Among the terms you may hear are congenital heart defect, congenital heart disease and congenital cardiovascular disease. The word "defect" is more accurate than "disease." A congenital cardiovascular defect occurs when the heart or blood vessels near the heart don't develop normally before birth. Click here to learn more.
Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure can involve the heart's left side, right side or both sides. However, it usually affects the left side first. Each side is made up of two chambers: the atrium, or upper chamber; and the ventricle, or lower chamber. The atrium receives blood into the heart, and the ventricle pumps it where it needs to go. Heart failure occurs when any of these chambers lose their ability to keep up with the amount of blood flow. Click here to learn more.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic pressure) and when the heart is at rest (diastolic pressure). It's measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). High blood pressure (or hypertension) is defined in an adult as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg systolic pressure or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure. Click here to learn more.
Heart murmurs are most often caused by defective heart valves. A stenotic heart valve has a smaller-than-normal opening and can't open completely. A valve may also be unable to close completely. This leads to regurgitation, which is blood leaking backward through the valve when it should be closed. Click here to learn more.
Hypertension is another word for high blood pressure. Click here to learn more.
Ischemia is a condition in which the blood flow (and thus oxygen) is restricted to a part of the body. Cardiac ischemia is the name for lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. Click here to learn more.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
This refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain. It's often a narrowing of vessels that carry blood to leg and arm muscles. Click here to learn more.