Heart Disease Causes

To understand what causes heart disease, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of how the heart works. The heart is a muscular organ that acts as a pump, drawing in oxygen-poor blood and moving oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Though only about the size of a fist, the heart has a complex structure and consists of numerous chambers and valves, as well as blood vessels that transport blood throughout the body. The heart also responds to electrical impulses that keep it beating. Heart disease occurs when any of these functions or structures are impaired, destroyed, or otherwise inhibited.

There are many risk factors that can contribute to the development of heart problems, however, these are not the same are heart disease causes. Rather, risk factors are any behaviors or conditions that make it more likely that an individual will experience heart disease. Some factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Advanced age
  • A family history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Poor hygiene

According to U.S. News & World Report, Tampa General Hospital is one of America's Best Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery. By using advanced diagnostic equipment and innovative methods, such as magnetic resonance angiograms (MRA), we are able to accurately determine our patient’s heart disease causes. This allows our team of specialists, which includes vascular interventional radiologists, cardiac surgeons, and other specialists, to develop individualized treatment plans that provide the greatest likelihood for a successful outcome. Tampa General Hospital also provides comprehensive rehabilitation for cardiac patients.

To be referred to a specialist with Tampa General Hospital, please visit our online Physician Finder or call 1-800-822-DOCS (3627).