Part 3: Diseases & Conditions that Affect Heart Health

You can find Part 1 & Part 2 following the links below

7.  Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD, is most common in the arteries of the pelvis and legs. results from fatty deposits (plaque) that build up in the arteries outside the heart (peripheral arteries); mainly the arteries supplying the legs and feet. This buildup narrows or blocks your arteries and reduces the amount of blood and oxygen delivered to your leg muscles and feet.

The most common symptoms of PAD include pain and/or tiredness in the legs or hip muscles while walking or climbing up stairs and cramping.  The pain will go away when resting but it returns once the person starts walking again.

PAD Fast Facts:

  • PAD often goes undiagnosed by doctors
  • Many people will mistake the symptoms of PAD for something else
  • If PAD is not treated, it can lead to gangrene and amputation
  • If you have diabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoke, you are at an increased risk for PAD
  • Most PAD patients illness can be managed by changing lifestyle and through medications


8. Obesity

The AHA defines obesity as “too much body fat”. If you have too much fat in your body, and if is mainly in your waist area, you are at higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart attack and stroke.  Obesity alone, even without any other risk factors, can increase risk of heart disease.

Obesity is recognized as a major risk factor for heart disease because obesity:

  • raises cholesterol levels & triglyceride levels
  • lowers good cholesterol
  • raises blood pressure
  • can cause diabetes

If you have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or higher, you are considered obese.

If you are obese, you can reduce your risk of heart diseae by:

  • A healthy diet and exercise
  • Cutting out fats
  • If you have emotional issues that cause you to eat, seeking some sort of counseling to deal with that.


9.  Congenital Heart Disease In Adults

Congenital Heart defects in adults are not common. Patients can get the best care at a center where medical professionals are skilled in caring for patients with problems due to congenital heart disease. These medical people include board-certified pediatric and adult cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and intensive-care experts, as well as a skilled support team. Often these centers have doctors skilled in special radiology procedures for people with congenital heart disease.

With advancements in medical technology over the past 30 years, children born wiht congenital heart defects can be treated and can live full, healthy lives without any complications.

There are different types of congenital heart defects that are possible.  Since there were so many, I have just included the names and the links where you can read more about each type:

  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
  • Complete Atrioventricular Canal (CAVC)
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis and Insufficiency
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Pulmonary Valve Stenosis
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Single-Ventricle Defects
  • Truncus Arteriosus
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • Ebstein’s Anomaly


10.  Other Conditions

For a full list of other conditions that can cause heart disease, click on the link below.

AHA Other Conditions of Heart Disease