Heart Disease Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Heart Disease Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Heart disease is a general term for all diseases that affect the heart. There are many types of heart disease, but the most common are:

  • Coronary heart disease, namely heart disease that occurs due to the narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart.
  • Congenital heart disease is a heart problem found since infancy. The most common problem is a leaky heart valve.
  • Arrhythmia, which is a heart rhythm disturbance that causes an abnormal heartbeat.
  • Heart failure, which is the failure of the heart muscle to adequately pump blood throughout the body.
  • Heart infection (endocarditis), which is an infection of the inner lining of the heart.

Heart Disease Symptoms

Symptoms of heart disease also vary greatly, depending on the type of heart disease experienced. In coronary heart disease, the main symptom is chest pain.

It can also be accompanied by shortness of breath, pain in the left arm or jaw. In arrhythmic conditions, symptoms of heart disease that can appear are complaints of palpitations, discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath, a floating sensation, and fainting.

Babies who have congenital heart disease can show symptoms in the form of looking tight and turning blue when crying or feeding, swelling around the eyes and in the legs, not gaining weight.

Meanwhile, symptoms of heart failure can include shortness of breath that gets worse during activities, shortness of breath that gets worse when lying down, swollen limbs, and an enlarged stomach.

Heart infection (endocarditis) shows symptoms of fever, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, swelling in the abdomen or legs, and coughing.

Heart Disease Reason

There are various causes of heart disease depending on the type of heart disease experienced.

Coronary heart disease is generally caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, such as consuming foods high in carbohydrates or fat, obesity, rarely doing physical activity, and often being exposed to cigarette smoke.

Congenital heart disease is not known with certainty the cause. However, there are several conditions that make babies more susceptible to this problem. Among them, the mother was infected with rubella during pregnancy, the mother took certain drugs during pregnancy or had a gene abnormality.

Arrhythmias are often caused by congenital abnormalities, namely the presence of dead heart muscle due to coronary heart disease, excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption, stress, or side effects of certain drugs.

Heart failure is generally caused by coronary heart disease, infection, or heart valve abnormalities. While heart infections are generally caused by viruses or bacteria. However, the most common cause is the attack of group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus bacteria.

Heart Disease Diagnosis

To ensure there is a heart problem, there are several tests that are needed, depending on the type of heart disease. In general, tests to confirm the diagnosis of heart disease are:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG), which is an examination to see the flow of electricity and heart rhythm. This examination is carried out by attaching several leads (shaped like clamps) to the patient’s body. EKG is the most common examination performed on those suspected of having heart problems.
  • Echocardiography, which is an examination to see the inside of the heart, heart pumping function, and heart valve function. This examination is mainly performed on those who are suspected of having heart failure, congenital heart disease, and heart valve abnormalities.
  • Treadmill test, which is a heart rhythm check that is carried out while the patient is doing physical activity (treadmill). This examination is generally performed to detect coronary heart disease early.
  • Angiography, which is a heart examination performed by inserting a ‘camera’ into the heart’s blood vessels to see if there are any blockages in the heart’s blood vessels.

Heart Disease Treatment

Coronary heart disease treatment aims to prevent more severe blockages in the heart arteries. This is done by giving the sufferer blood-thinning drugs (such as aspirin or clopidogrel) and nitrates.

If the blockage is very severe, sometimes the act of opening the blockage in the blood vessels through percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is needed.

Treatment of arrhythmic heart disease aims to control the heart rhythm. This is done by giving drugs that affect heart rhythm, such as beta-blockers, diltiazem, and verapamil.

If that cannot improve the condition of the arrhythmia that is being experienced, then a cardiac ablation procedure to control inappropriate electrical currents is usually needed.

Congenital heart disease is generally treated with surgery to close leaks in the heart valves or septum.

Treatment of heart failure is done by giving drugs to reduce fluids in the body to reduce the work of the heart. The doctor will also give medicine to increase the strength of the heart in pumping blood.

Endocarditis is treated by administering antibiotics according to the type of germ that infects. In addition, anti-inflammatory and blood thinners are also given.

Heart Disease Prevention

Not all heart diseases can be prevented, for example, congenital heart disease. However, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias can generally be prevented by:

  • Do not smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Check blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol regularly
  • Do physical exercise (eg jogging, cycling, swimming) for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Eat foods high in fiber, low in sugar, and low in fat

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