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Congenital Heart Defects

Essay by   •  March 27, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,975 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,414 Views

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Cardiovascular disease is a condition caused by narrowed or blocked blood vessels. There are various forms of heart conditions that affect the heart's muscle such as Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Attacks, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congenital Heart Defects, Cardiomyopathy, and Peripheral Artery Disease. The broad basis for this research paper was to find out how Congenital heart disease differs with other forms of heart disease. Congenital Heart defects with the heart's structure are present at birth. Each year, more than 35,000 babies in the United States are born with Congenital heart defects. ("Types of Cardiovascular Diseases."). All forms of heart disease begin in the blood vessels. According to the American Heart Association, eight out of every 1,000 newborns are affected. Cardiovascular Heart Disease is caused by plaque buildup in the arteries leading to the heart.

Every 33 seconds someone in the United States dies from Cardiovascular disease. Statistics show that more people die of heart disease than of AIDS and all cancers combined, approximately claiming 1,000,000 lives annually. Coronary Artery disease is the most common type of heart disease in both men and women. Arteries that supply blood to heart muscles become hardened and narrowed due to the increase of plaque.The plaque build up in the Coronary arteries are called atherosclerosis. According to the Heart Foundation, atherosclerosis may rupture causing a blood clot to form that either blocks the artery or breaks off and travels somewhere else in the body causing blockage at another site. The results of this blockage depends on how severe it may be ranges from a Heart attack to a sudden Cardiac death.

Currently about 7.9 million Americans are alive who have had a heart attack. Heart attacks are also known as a "myocardial infarction." One of the two most common warning symptoms include upper body discomfort, such as pain in the center or left side of the chest. This discomfort can be mild or severe, and it usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. Another symptom is shortness of breath, this can be the only indication, or it may occur before or along with chest pains. It can occur while an individual is resting or can occur during any type of physical activity. Myocardial infarctions result in permanent damage to the heart muscle or death.

Arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat rhythm. When the heart doesn't beat normally, it cannot pump blood effectively to all the organs, causing them to shut down or become damaged. A regular heart beats because electrical messages are sent from the natural pacemaker in the top portion of the heart. This message is sent down through to the bottom half of the heart. Special electrical cells make the heart muscle contract, squeezing blood out of the heart. An abnormal heart rhythm happens if the messages are delayed on their way through the heart, or the electrical messages come from another part of the heart not the natural pacemaker. Often people with arrhythmias do not have any obvious symptoms but may experience collapsing, tiredness, dizziness, racing/ skipping heartbeats or feeling out of breath.("Heart Disease.").

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is too weak to pump efficiently. Blood moves through the heart and body at a slower pace, pressure then increases in the heart, and the heart cannot supply enough blood and oxygen to the body, resulting in fatigue and shortness of breath. Right side heart failure happens if the heart cannot pump enough blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. Left side heart failure occurs if the heart cannot pump enough oxygen rich blood to the rest of the body.("Types of Cardiovascular Diseases.") According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, about 5.8 million people in the United States have heart failure. It is more common in people over the age of 65. People with High blood pressure, diabetes, enlarged heart, or a recent history of heart attacks are some of the risk factors. The most common symptoms are fatigue, troubled breathing, and also, swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck is a usual indicator. ("What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure?").

Congenital heart defects are the number one cause of birth related to death. More than 40 different types of congenital heart defects are known.The Children's Heart Foundation is the only organization that was created exclusively to fund the congenital heart defect research. The Children's Heart Foundation has also directed $3.6 million to 37 basic science, translational and clinical Congenital heart defect research projects at leading research centers across the United States and Canada. In the last decade death rates have declined by almost 30 percent due to advances made through research. According to the March of Dimes, usually scientists do not know what causes hearts to be developed abnormally. It does appear that genetics and the environment play a role, but exactly how is uncertain.

Cardiomyopathy means disease of the heart muscle. It is a progressive disease that causes the heart to become enlarged, thickened, or stiffened. Heart muscle disease limits the cardiac muscle's ability to pump blood normally. As cardiomyopathy worsens, the heart becomes weaker. It is not able to pump blood through the body and maintain a normal electrical rhythm This can lead to arrhythmia or heart failure. According to Cleveland Clinic, some people have no signs or symptoms and need no treatment. For other people, the disease develops rapidly, symptoms are severe. The four main types of cardiomyopathy are Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Restrictive Cardiomyopathy and Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia. ("What Is Cardiomyopathy?").

Peripheral Artery Disease is also known as leg artery disease. It emerges because plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the circulatory system.When this happens, a person's leg does not receive the oxygen it needs. Said individuals may feel well and still have the leg artery disease or sometimes similar blockages in other arteries, such as those leading to the heart or brain. It is important to treat this disease not only because it may place you at a greater risk for limb loss but also for having a heart attack or stroke. One in three people age 70 or older has PAD. ("Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).") Johnson wrote, "smoking or having diabetes increases may increase chances of developing the disease sooner." People who have the leg artery disease, may have symptoms when walking or climbing stairs. These symptoms may include pain, numbness, aching, or heaviness in the leg muscles.

Your Blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with your chances of getting

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