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This content is taken from the University of Reading's online course, Heart Health: A Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsWelcome to week three. This week in the following series of short videos, we'll be exploring four more cardiovascular diseases. So by the end of this week, you should be able to describe heart failure, hypertension, valvular diseases, and arrhythmias. We already know that one in three of us is expected to die of cardiovascular diseases, and that many more live with it. Last week, we looked at three cardiovascular diseases, angina, heart attacks, and strokes. And this week we look at four more. We'll be starting with heart failure. Heart failure is the progressive failing of the heart as a mechanical pump. It affects over 700,000 people in the UK, and affects people typically over the age of 75.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsAlthough a greater percentage of men than women have heart failure, because it occurs later in life and because women typically live longer, there are actually more women with the condition. Heart failure is caused by damage to the heart, for example, acute damage such as a heart attack. And we learned about those last week. Or also by overwork, for example, from prolonged hypertension or valvular diseases. Hypertension or high blood pressure affects over 25% of adults in England, and levels rise with ageing, reaching 8 out of 10 adults over the age of 75. Despite being one of the biggest predictors of cardiovascular disease, nearly half of all hypertensive adults remain untreated.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 secondsValvular diseases, or the damages of the heart valves, affects around 13% of adults over 75 in the UK. Valvular diseases can affect any of the four heart valves, and disrupts their ability to ensure the blood flows through the heart in the right direction. Lastly, we'll be looking at arrhythmias. Arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, can originate in different parts of the heart, for example, the atria or the ventricles. Arrhythmias can vary in severity, ranging from extremely life threatening through to being relatively harmless. Ventricular fibrillation is probably the most serious of the arrhythmias, and unless the patient is defibrillated or shocked back into a regular heart rhythm, death will occur.

Skip to 2 minutes and 31 secondsNow that we know the consequences of these four cardiovascular diseases, let's find out more about them from the experts.

Welcome to Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of ‘Heart Health: A Beginner’s Guide to Cardiovascular Disease’. This week we will be concentrating on four types of cardiovascular diseases. We will also investigate the effects of a weak and overstretched heart in a practical exercise you can complete at home.

Learning objectives

By the end of this week you should be able to describe and understand the following four different cardiovascular diseases:

  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Valvular disease
  • Arrhythmias

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This video is from the free online course:

Heart Health: A Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease

University of Reading