Although Heart Disease is the main cause of death in the Western World it is amazing how little the general public actually know about it.
For example very few people realize that there isn’t just one type of Heart Disease. In fact there are at least ten different types and these fall into two distinct categories – Organic and Degenerative.
The major difference between Organic and Degenerative Heart Disease is their causes.
Organic refers to a situation where the organ (the heart) is damaged by a specific event. This can also be referred to as “acute”, which simply means that it happened suddenly or over a short period of time. Degenerative Heart Disease (sometimes referred to as “chronic”) is caused by gradual deterioration over a long period of time.
There are two types of Organic H.D. – Congenital and Rheumatic .
Defects that occur at birth are classed as Congenital Heart Disease. These may affect the heart itself : it may not have developed normally during pregnancy, the wall of the heart may be damaged (hole in the heart), or the blood vessels may be underdeveloped. These defects may be hereditary or more likely have been caused by external factors such as drugs or infection during pregnancy. They are normally diagnosed at birth or in early childhood but it is not uncommon for the symptoms to occur for the first time in adulthood..
Rheumatic Heart Disease can be the result of a bout of rheumatic fever. Occurrences have decreased considerably due to the use of antibiotics to treat rheumatic fever.
There are at least eight specific diseases, which fall into the category of Degenerative Heart Disease. The common factors within this category are that the disease has progressed gradually and that there is no specific event that has caused it.
The vast majority of people who are diagnosed with Heart Disease have some form of degenerative heart disease. This is the form of disease that is the target of the awareness campaigns and is the type that we can help to prevent by our lifestyles choices.