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Chest / Cardiovascular

Acute Costochondritis, also called chest wall pain syndrome, causes inflammation between your ribs and breastbone. The condition itself isn’t an emergency—but it feels just like a heart attack. Here’s how to identify the symptoms and when you should go to the emergency room.

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A dissection (tear) in the aorta, the large artery that delivers blood throughout your body, causes sudden, intense chest or back pain—and getting diagnosed and treated quickly can be a matter of life or death.

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Arrhythmias are irregularities in the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. They are caused by changes in the electrical signals that make the heart beat normally. Different types of arrhythmias have different treatments—and there are ways to lower your risk of having one in the first place.

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Atrial fibrillation is an irregular, often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood circulation with shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations as symptoms.

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Carotid artery dissection is a separation of the layers of the artery wall that supplies oxygen-bearing blood to the head and commonly causes strokes in young adults.

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Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious condition in which your heart no longer pumps enough blood for your body’s needs. CHF makes it hard to breathe, and interferes with kidney function. Changing your lifestyle and taking medications can help slow the disease.

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A heart attack in a woman is a life-threatening event caused by a disruption in the blood flow to the heart. Women tend to have "silent" attacks and show unusual symptoms.

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Hypertensive crisis occurs when your blood pressure becomes dangerously high (systolic BP 180/diastolic BP 120 mm Hg), to a level that can damage your organs.

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Infective endocarditis is a rare but life-threatening bacterial infection that attacks the lining of the heart and heart valves. People with heart conditions may be more at risk for endocarditis, but it can occur whenever bacteria enters the bloodstream.

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Long QT syndrome is an electric heart rhythm disorder that can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. Severe symptoms are sudden fainting and seizures.

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Pectus carinatum is a deformity of the chest in which the front of the chest protrudes forward. It is believed to be caused by factors including abnormal growth.

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the narrowing of the small arteries that take blood from your heart to the arm and legs. PAD is typically the result of deposits of calcium and fatty plaques in the arteries. It causes pain and weakness, usually in your legs.

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Sick sinus syndrome is a condition in which the normal pacemaker of the heart is unable to keep the heart beating at a normal rate to deliver blood to the body.

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When blood stops flowing to the brain because of a clot or rupture (hemorrhage), it’s called a stroke. This is extremely dangerous because blood carries essential oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Learn about the three types of strokes and why you need to get to the ER as fast as possible.

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Sudden cardiac arrest is an emergency condition that is described by when the heart suddenly stops beating. Symptoms include a loss of consciousness, lightheadedness or dizziness, or a lack of pulse or breathing. Treatment includes trying to restore the heartbeat via defibrillation.

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A thoracic aortic aneurysm, or TAA, is a bulge in the wall of the aorta. TAA's can lead to a dissection or rupture of the aorta, leading to a life-threatening condition.

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Valvular Heart Disease is a diagnosis for a problem with any of the four heart valves. Usually the disease affects the valves on the left side of the heart. There is no cure. But certain lifestyle changes and medication can help you live a longer, fuller life. When symptoms become too serious, surgery to repair valves may be necessary.

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Vasovagal syncope is sudden fainting caused by a drop in heart rate and blood pressure when your body overreacts to certain emotional or neurologic triggers.

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Clogged arteries are from plaque collecting in your arteries. Genetics, conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, and habits like smoking can cause this condition. Clogged arteries can lead to a heart attack or stroke, so it’s important to know the warning signs and get treated ASAP.

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Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) is a condition in which the heart beats abnormally fast due to electricity incorrectly traveling between pathways in the heart.

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You can dramatically lower your risk of heart disease by staying on top of your risk factors, like being overweight and high cholesterol.

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Find out how to monitor and treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm

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Find out how to treat angina pectoris

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Aortic stenosis occurs when the heart's aortic valve stiffens and narrows. This can disrupt blood flow and cause dizziness or chest pain. There are usually no symptoms at first. Left untreated, aortic valve stenosis can lead to serious heart problems.

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Aortic valve regurgitation is when the aortic valve fails and allows blood to flow backward through it, putting pressure on the heart and decreasing forward (normal) blood flow.

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Many strokes can be prevented by lowering your risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, and diabetes.

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Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot, usually in your leg. It is a serious condition that causes pain and swelling.

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Find out how to diagnose and treat familial hypercholesterolemia

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A heart attack means the blood flow to your heart has been cut off. Know the signs and symptoms, when to seek help, and how heart attacks are treated.

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Heart palpitations are sensations in your chest caused by a racing, slow, or erratic heartbeat. They’re often nothing to worry about, but they can also be a sign of serious medical conditions such as heart problems. Here’s how to tell the difference.

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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common problem that doesn’t always cause symptoms. Here’s what to know about hypertension risk factors and complications and how it’s treated.

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High cholesterol can create deposits inside your blood vessels that eventually lead to narrowing of your blood vessels. It can also cause blockages, ruptures, and clots, and possibly a heart attack or stroke.

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There are a lot of lifestyle steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure from developing. And ways to help treat it without using drugs or along with drugs. These include improving your diet, exercising, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol use.

The most common cause of fainting, vasovagal syncope can be avoided by learning and avoiding triggers like dehydration, the sight of blood, and more.

It’s not unusual to feel a little dizzy when you stand up after sitting or lying down. But if it happens frequently, it may be a sign of POTS, a type of low blood pressure.

See Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) treatments

Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are extra, abnormal heartbeats that begin in the lower chambers of the heart instead of the upper chambers.

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Pulmonary Hypertension is when there is high blood pressure in the blood vessels in your lungs. It can cause shortness of breath when you’re active and fatigue.

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Restrictive cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disorder in which the walls of the heart become stiff, preventing it from filling with blood normally.

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Stress-induced cardiomyopathy is a condition that is poorly understood, but mimics symptoms of a heart attack such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, and palpitations.

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The most common type of fainting, vasovagal syncope has a wide variety of causes ranging from coughing and swallowing to strong emotions and pregnancy.

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is sometimes called a mini-stroke. It is actually your body warning you that you are at risk for a stroke. Unlike a stroke, it is not long-lasting.

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Vasovagal syncope is the most common cause of fainting, especially during pregnancy. While it’s often caused by normal changes in blood pressure from being pregnant, you should always tell your healthcare provider.