2.0 Diseases of the heart Listen

Diseases of the heart can be congenital or acquired and are caused by changes in the heart and blood vessels. Children and young adults rarely encounter acquired heart disease but may present with congenital heart defects. Acquired heart diseases are related to lifestyle and can be prevented by changing lifestyle behaviours for example by stopping smoking, losing weight or increasing physical activity. The most common heart diseases are ischaemic heart disease (Acute Coronary Syndrome), hypertensive heart disease, heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias), heart valve disorders (mitral, aortic stenosis, aortic insufficiency), heart inflammation (cardiomyopathy, endocarditis, myocarditis, pericarditis) and heart failure (Almaas et al. 2010).This chapter will focus on ischaemic heart disease and heart failure.