Cardiology is a branch of medicine that deals with the disorders of the heart as well as some parts of the circulatory system. The field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology.
Hypertension, also known as “high blood pressure”, is a long term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. High blood pressure usually does not cause symptoms. Long term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, and chronic kidney disease.
Essential vs Secondary hypertension
Essential hypertension is the form of hypertension that by definition has no identifiable cause. It is the most common type of hypertension, affecting 95% of hypertensive patients, it tends to be familial and is likely to be the consequence of an interaction between environmental and genetic factors. Prevalence of essential hypertension increases with age, and individuals with relatively high blood pressure at younger ages are at increased risk for the subsequent development of hypertension. Hypertension can increase the risk of cerebral, cardiac, and renal events.
Complications of hypertension
Complications of hypertension are clinical outcomes that result from persistent elevation of blood pressure. Hypertension is a risk factor for all clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis since it is a risk factor for atherosclerosis itself. It is an independent predisposing factor for heart failure,coronary artery disease,stroke,renal disease, and peripheral arterial disease. It is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, in industrialized countries.
Cardiac arrhythmia, also known as “cardiac dysrhythmia” or “irregular heartbeat”, is a group of conditions in which the heartbeat is irregular, too fast, or too slow. A heart rate that is too fast – above 100 beats per minute in adults – is called tachycardia and a heart rate that is too slow – below 60 beats per minute – is called bradycardia. Many types of arrhythmia have no symptoms. When symptoms are present these may include palpitations or feeling a pause between heartbeats. More seriously there may be lightheadedness, passing out, shortness of breath, or chest pain. While most types of arrhythmia are not serious, some predispose a person to complications such as stroke or heart failure. Others may result in cardiac arrest.
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease, also known as “ischemic heart disease”, is a group of diseases that includes: stable angina, unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death. It is within the group of cardiovascular diseases of which it is the most common type. A common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Occasionally it may feel like heartburn. Usually symptoms occur with exercise or emotional stress, last less than a few minutes, and get better with rest. Shortness of breath may also occur and sometimes no symptoms are present. The first sign is occasionally a heart attack. Other complications include heart failure or an irregular heartbeat.
Cardiac arrest is a sudden stop in effective blood flow due to the failure of the heart to contract effectively. Symptoms include loss of consciousness and abnormal or absent breathing. Some people may have chest pain, shortness of breath, or nausea before this occurs. If not treated within minutes, death usually occurs.
Congenital heart defects
A congenital heart defect, also known as a “congenital heart anomaly” or “congenital heart disease”, is a problem in the structure of the heart that is present at birth. Signs and symptoms depend on the specific type of problem. Symptoms can vary from none to life-threatening. When present they may include rapid breathing, bluish skin, poor weight gain, and feeling tired. It does not cause chest pain. Most congenital heart problems do not occur with other diseases. Complications that can result from heart defects include heart failure.