What is heart disease? What is the primary cause of heart disease and what symptoms does it typically produce?

1 Answer
Jan 4, 2017

Heart disease is actually not one disease but can be many cardiovascular diseases. See below.


Heart disease is actually not one disease but can be many cardiovascular diseases, including hypertensive heart disease, carditis, heart arrhythmia, coronary artery disease (the most common form of heart disease), and others.

The primary cause of heart disease will depend on the specific disease one has, but many can be traced back to lifestyle choices: lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, and an excessive intake of alcohol all lead to heart-related problems.

Atherosclerosis, or a build-up of plaque in the arteries, is linked to many types of heart disease. When plaque builds up in the epicardial coronary arteries, this can lead to coronary artery disease.


Arrhythmias, abnormal heart rhythms, can be genetic or they can be caused by drugs, high blood pressure, stress, diabetes and other causes.


The symptoms one experiences will depend on the disease itself. Arrhythmias can feel like the heart is fluttering and one may also experience dizziness and/or shortness of breath. Symptoms of other cardiovascular diseases include fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling in one's legs, ankles and feet, and others.

Learn more about heart diseases here.