It is widely known that men can suffer from heart disease and heart attacks; in fact it is the number one killer of men. Most people associate coronary artery disease (the narrowing of the arteries leading to the heart) with heart disease in men. Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., it is a good idea to understand the many types of heart disease.

Men & Heart Disease

Heart disease (or cardiovascular disease) includes a number of conditions affecting the heart such as:

  • Coronary artery disease and heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmias
  • Heart valve disease
  • Aorta disease
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Vascular disease (blood vessel disease)
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Enlarged heart/cardiomyopathy
  • Pericardial disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries that provide vital oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Untreated it can lead to a heart attack.

Heart failure means that the heart does not pump as well as it should; it affects nearly five million Americans and is the leading cause of hospitalization in people over the age of 65.

An arrhythmia (also called a dysrhythmia) can cause a change in the rhythm of your heartbeat, producing an uneven or changed heart rate such as one that is too fast or too slow.

Heart valve disease is when the valves that lie at the exit of each of your four heart chambers and that keep blood flowing through your heart stop working effectively. Mitral valve prolapse, aortic stenosis, and mitral valve insufficiency are all types of heart valve disease.

Aorta disease causes distortion or damage to the aorta which we depend on to provide oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Damaged aortas can lead to hardening of the arteries and/or hypertension.

Marfan Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes the aorta to be weakened as it leaves the heart; this can lead to an aneurysm or ripping (dissection) of the aorta.

Congenital heart disease is a type of birth defect that affects one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels in 8 out of every 1,000 children. Symptoms may or may not be seen at birth; some people do not experience symptoms until adulthood.

Cardiomyopathies or enlarged heart are diseases of the heart muscle. Enlarged hearts are too big, thick or stiff and do not pump blood effectively. Cardiomyopathies require treatment to avoid heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

Pericarditis is a rare condition often caused by an infection and is the inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart.

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