We try to get a basic overview of the cardiovascular disease and the conditions which can affect your heart and blood vessels; understanding all the different, possible types of it can be very confusing if you are not from the medical field or other health care professions.

The various diseases which fall under cardiovascular disease include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure and stroke. The disease of heart and blood vessels are serious problems and it is the number one killer of men and women worldwide.

Cardiovascular disease is used most often to describe the damage caused to your heart or blood vessels by atherosclerosis, is a disease which affects your arteries and arteries are blood vessels which carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of the body, moreover heart must also get enough oxygen und other essential nutrients.

Healthy arteries are flexible, strong and elastic but in course of years, too much of pressure makes the artery walls thick and stiff, sometimes restricting the blood flow and this process is called arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. So, atherosclerosis is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease and an unhealthy diet with lot of saturated fats, overweight, lack of physical activity, smoking and excessive alcohol are the culprits normally.

Not all the diseases are caused by atherosclerosis and this include congenital heart disease, heart infections, heart valve diseases or the disease of the heart muscle, known as cardiomyopathy.

Here are some specific terms used to describe the different cardiovascular disease:

Coronary artery diseases

These are the diseases of the arteries which supply the heart muscle with blood and is the leading cause of heart attacks when obstructed, thus reducing blood flow to the heart muscle, chest pain and heart attack is the result.

Heart attack

A heart attack usually occurs when blood clot blocks the flow of blood through coronary artery, the blood vessel which feeds blood to a part of the heart muscle and lack of oxygen can damage or destroy a part of the heart muscle.


It means diseases of the heart muscle, some types are genetic and others are not well understood.

The different types of cardiomyopathy include ischemic which is caused by loss of heart muscle from reduced coronary blood flow, dilated, which means the heart chambers are enlarged, hypertrophic, which means the heart muscle is thickened and idiopathic, which means the cause is unknown. The most common one is the idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart without a known cause.

Congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease refers to a form of heart disease which develops before birth, congenital. These diseases can affect the formation of the heart muscle or its chambers or valves and have conditions such as narrowing of a section of the aorta or holes in the heart. Some of these defects may be apparent at birth and others may be detected later in life.


An aneurysm is a bulge or weakness in an artery or vein wall and usually becomes bigger and bigger in course of time. They can rupture and can cause life-threatening bleeding. It can happen in arteries in any part of the body and the most common sites include the abdominal aorta and the arteries at the base of the brain.

Valvular heart diseases

Four valves within your heart keep blood flowing in the right direction and the diseases of these valves are valvular heart diseases. Narrowing, leaking or improper closing are the problems. This may be by birth or damaged by rheumatic fever, infections, connective tissue disorders and certain drugs or radiation treatments for cancer.

Pericardial diseases

These are the diseases of the sac which encased the heart and the disorders include inflammation, fluid accumulation and stiffness. These can occur alone or together.

Heart failure

Heart failure, congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart can not pump enough blood to all parts of our body. Heart failure may develop suddenly or over many years. Coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy can be the reason for the development of heart failure.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure, hypertension is the excessive force of blood pumping through your blood vessels. It is the most common form of cardiovascular disease in the people who are financially above the average. It is dangerous but it is the most preventable and treatable types of cardiovascular disease. It can cause heart attack or stroke.


A stroke occurs when blood flow is stopped or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and both can cause the death of the brain cells in the affected areas. It is also considered a neurological disorder because of the many complications it causes. High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke.


Heart rhythm problems, arrhythmias, occur when the electrical impulses in your heart beat which coordinate your heartbeats do not function properly, causing your heart beat too fast, too slow or irregular.

Peripheral arterial disease and claudication

The common name is claudication which usually refers to pain in your legs during exercise; peripheral arterial disease is the right term. In this disorder the arteries supplying blood to your limbs, usually your arteries in the legs become narrowed or blocked, thus the legs receive less blood than they need. Claudication may then develop mild obstruction which gives leg pain in strenuous exercise and when it becomes severe, you can have pain or cramps in your legs even at rest.