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Center for Heart & Vascular Health

Types of Inherited Heart Disease

There are different types of inherited heart diseases. Identifying these conditions early can lead to better care and improved health over time.

  • Cardiomyopathies are diseases that affect the physical structure of the heart and interfere with its ability to pump blood.
  • Arrhythmias are diseases that affect the heart’s electrical system and the heart’s ability to properly squeeze and relax. Hereditary arrhythmias can result in a heartbeat that is too fast, too slow or irregular. They can lead to rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting and sometimes sudden death.
  • Certain inherited heart conditions can cause a problem with the structure of the aorta—the large blood vessel that loops from the top of the heart, carrying oxygen rich blood to the rest of the body.
  • Coronoary artery disease is the most common cause of heart disease and a leading cause of death in the United States. Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque buildup, plaque rupture or a clot that blocks the coronary arteries, causing a lack of oxygen to the heart, preventing it from functioning effectively.
  • Atheriosclerosis is the narrowing of the arteries due to cholesterol buildup and plaque formation. In addition to family history, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity adn physical inactivity are risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Familial Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Program
Center for Heart & Vascular Health
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19718 directions