High blood pressure
Hypertension can be detected in 80 percent of heart diseases. Hypertension can be a primary condition caused by a combination of factors (e.g. genetic predisposition, lifestyle factors) or a secondary symptom of an accompanying disease (thyroid or kidney disease). If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to myocardial thickening and heart failure, excessive strain and weakening of the blood vessel walls (aneurysms, strokes), but can also cause overload in many parts of the body.
Coronary heart disease
The narrowing of the coronary arteries, which are responsible for the supply of oxygen to the heart, is caused by plaques on the arterial wall, which can grow over years or decades, eventually shrinking, narrowing or blocking. The narrowed vessel is unable to deliver enough oxygen to the heart muscle, a condition that can lead to arrhythmia and eventually heart attack. The most common symptom is chest pain behind the sternum. If you hear of vasoconstriction or atherosclerosis, it is most likely a blockage in the coronary artery.
Heart rhythm disorder
A heart rhythm that is faster (tachycardia), slower (bradycardia) or irregular compared to normal is called arrhythmia. In the latter case, there may be an extra heartbeat mixed in with the normal rhythm or a skipped beat. This may be caused by damage to the heart muscle, but can also occur in an intact heart muscle. In most cases, the arrhythmia is not noticeable and is detected during a specialist examination, but in some cases it can include chest pain, chest tremors, breathlessness, a palpable fast or slow heartbeat and dizziness.
Various heart disorders (e.g. high blood pressure, coronary heart disease) sap the heart's strength, so a weakened heart cannot deliver enough blood to the organs. This problem is chronic, requiring constant monitoring and treatment, and affects one in ten people over the age of 65. Because it typically occurs as a consequence of other circulatory problems, it also develops slowly. Typical symptoms include general physical weakness, reduced activity, loss of appetite, sudden weight gain and irregular heartbeat.
Heart valve faults
In the heart, the heart valves are located at the junction of the atria and ventricles and at the origin of the large blood vessels, and regulate the flow of blood between the heart chambers. If these valves, which act as valves, do not close properly or are severely constricted, i.e. they block the flow of blood even when open, they cause problems in the circulation. There are many forms of congenital and acquired heart valve disorders, but there are also a number of effective medical and surgical treatments (valve implantation, dilatation, valve replacement).
Congenital heart disease
Patients over 18 years of age with congenital heart disease require additional regular specialised follow-up throughout their lives. Regardless of the type of disease, the most common late problems are arrhythmias and heart failure. But as an adult, issues that affect daily life and lifestyle, such as sport, contraception, having children and employment, also require consultation and medical help.
Pregnancy and heart disease
For women with suspected heart disease, high blood pressure or heart disease, cardiology-related antenatal care is important from the planning of the baby to its birth.