Glossary: Common Heart disease terms


Diseased-HeartAngina (Angina Pectoris):  It is a chest pain or chest discomfort that lasts for 2-5 minutes, maximum 10-15 minutes. It occurs due to lack of oxygen supply to heart muscles. The pain may also be felt in shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back.


Angioplasty:  Is a non-invasive procedure, in which a balloon is used to open a blockage in a coronary (heart) artery narrowed by atherosclerosis. This procedure improves blood flow to the heart.


Angiography: Is a test that uses an injection of a liquid dye into blood stream to make the arteries easily visible on X-rays. It is done to image diseased, tapering, blocked blood vessels in diverse parts of the body, including the heart, brain and kidneys.


Arrhythmia: An irregular or abnormal heartbeat. They can cause the heart to pump less effectively and usually about 850,000 people end up in hospitals all over the US for this reason.


Atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”): Deposition of plaque inside the artery. Over the time plaque which is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances hardens and narrows the arteries, thereby increases the risk of heart attack, stroke or even death. 



Image credit: teamrich


Atrial Fibrillation: The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which involves two upper chambers (Atria) of the heart.  It can often be identified by taking a pulse and observing that the heartbeats don’t occur at regular intervals.



Blood PressureBlood Pressure: Blood Pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps through the arteries and the circulatory system.


Bradycardia: Is a very slow heartbeat. The normal adult heart rate, ranges from about 50 to 100 beats per minute. A heart rate that stays below 50 beats per minute is called bradycardia. cardiac-arrest


Cardiac Arrest (Sudden cardiac Arrest): Is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops pumping. This means blood stops flowing and oxygen doesn’t reach the brain and other vital organs. If a person’s heart stops pumping for more than a few minutes, they are unlikely to recover.


Congestive Heart Failure (CHF or heart failure): A condition when the heart muscle weakens and heart doesn’t pump blood the way it should.  In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t send blood to the rest of the body with enough force. It’s a serious condition that requires medical care.


Coronary Artery Disease (atherosclerosis): A build-up of fatty material in the wall of the coronary artery that causes narrowing of the artery. Thereby suppresses arteries to supply oxygen-rich blood to heart muscles.


Endocarditis: An infection of the inner lining (endocardium) of the heart, chambers and valves. It is usually caused by bacteria and mainly affects people who have damaged or artificial heart valve, congenital (since birth) heart defects or have had heart surgery to treat valve disease.myocardial-infarction


Heart Attack (myocardial infarction): Death of a section of heart muscles due to the lack of blood supply to the heart.  It occurs most often as a result of a coronary artery disease.


justify;">Heart Block: Is a type of bradycardia that also is called atrioventricular, or AV block. In this condition, the electrical signals that stimulate heart muscle contractions are partially or totally blocked between the upper chambers (atria) and the lower chambers (ventricles).


ldl-hdl-cholesterolHigh-density lipoprotein (HDL): Good cholesterol or HDL carries cholesterol away from arteries and takes it to liver, where it’s removed from the body. High levels of HDL protect you from heart attacks.


Hypertension: High blood pressure.


Hypotension: Low blood pressure. heart-attack-image


Infarction: Tissue death due to lack of oxygen supply.


Ischemia (Myocardial Ischemia): Lack of oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart muscle to meet the heart’s need.


Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): High levels of LDL or bad cholesterol in your body can clog your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.


Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery: Minimally invasive heart surgery is a technique developed to reduce the trauma associated with open heart surgery. The smaller incision that is used may allow the patient to heal more rapidly and decrease the time to recovery and full activity. It also helps to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with heart surgery.


heart-palpitationPacemaker: A pacemaker is a medical device that keeps the heart beating normally.


Palpitation: Heart palpitation is feeling that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or fast.


Restenosis: The closing or narrowing of an artery that was previously opened by a procedure such as angioplasty.


Sphygmomanometer: A device for measuring blood pressure.


Stent: A small stainless steel mesh tube, inserted after angioplasty that acts as a scaffold to provide support inside the coronary artery.


Stroke: A sudden loss of brain function due to decreased blood flow to an area of the brain.


Total Cholesterol: The total amount of cholesterol in the blood.



Triglyceride: Is a form of fat. People who have high levels of triglyceride often have a low level of “good” cholesterol and a high level of “bad” cholesterol.



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