Heart Disease

Heart Disease Symptoms & Signs

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The term heart disease is very broad and includes a number of conditions, ranging from congenital (inborn) abnormalities of the heart to coronary artery disease caused by atherosclerosis. Sometimes the term is used synonymously with coronary artery disease, but in the true sense of the term, heart disease can apply to any number of conditions.

Accordingly, the symptoms of heart disease will depend upon the type of disease that is present. When disease prevents the heart muscle from receiving enough oxygen, chest pain and shortness of breath may result. Heart failure can cause different symptoms, including some nonspecific symptoms such as swelling and fatigue. Arrythmias are another type of heart disease. Symptoms of arrhythmias can include dizziness, racing heart, and palpitations. The list of possible symptoms that can occur with heart conditions is very broad and reflects disturbances in heart function and circulation as well as loss of oxygen delivery to critical organs.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/23/2013

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Longo, Dan, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

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