What Are the Most Common Heart Conditions?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 27 January 2019
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Some of the most common heart conditions are mitral valve prolapse and irregular heart rhythms, such as tachycardia or bradycardia. Tachycardia refers to an abnormally high resting heart rate, were bradycardia refers to an abnormally low resting heart rate. Both conditions can result from normal circumstances, such as anxiety in the case of tachycardia, and being physically fit in the case of bradycardia. These conditions, however, can be serious and need to be evaluated by a cardiologist or heart doctor.

Mitral valve prolapse is one of the most common heart conditions and afflicts women more than men. A mitral valve prolapse occurs when the flaps, or valves, of the heart do not open and close properly. In many cases, mitral valve prolapse produces no symptoms, but when it does, patients may experience fatigue, dizziness, and rapid heart rate or palpitations. In addition, a person with a prolapsed mitral valve may even complain of the heart doing "flip flops" in her chest.

Treatment for heart conditions include medications, minimally invasive surgical procedures, and extensive cardiovascular surgery. When a person experiences tachycardia or accelerated heart rate, she may be treated with a medication referred to as a beta blocker. This medication not only slows down the heart rate, it makes the contractions of the heart stronger and more regular. Beta blockers can also prevent heart conditions, such as angina, or chest pain, and may even prevent heart attacks and stroke.


Patients with bradycardia, or a low heart rate, may benefit from the insertion of a pacemaker into the upper chest area. The pacemaker can detect when the heart is not beating appropriately and will notify the electrical system of the heart when extra beats are needed. Recovery time from the pacemaker insertion procedure is minimal, but the patient needs to watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or drainage.

Sometimes, when heart conditions are more serious, cardiac surgery may be necessary. Common cardiac surgical procedures for heart conditions include include the coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure. During a CABG procedure, the cardiovascular surgeons may take a patent vein from the leg and bypass the diseased artery of the heart with the leg vein. This procedure restores blood flow through the newly grafted vein around the vein that has become occluded, or blocked, because of arteriosclerosis. Fortunately, with proper treatment and medications, many heart conditions can be treated and effectively managed.



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