What is heart disease?

Heart disease is a general term for any heart condition. Most commonly, it refers to problems where the heart gets a reduced blood supply.

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the US and in many other Western countries.

Heart disease describes general situation of disorders in the heart, most often problems with the cardiac muscles (including their blood supply) or the valves (damaged or weakened). Mainly anything which leads to changed capacity of heart uptake or discharge of blood (coming to heart and going out from heart), or anything which leads to changed rhythm (timing, order) of contractions.

It can also include enlargement of the muscle due to several causes.


The heart's work is governed by electrical impulses, muscle contractions, its size, and the condition of the chambers and valves. Any of these factors and mechanisms could be abnormal (heart disease).