Ētahi atu mate manawa Other heart conditions

Find information on a list of heart issues on the Heart Foundation website.

Aortic aneurysm

Sometimes a section of the aorta wall is damaged or weakened. This can cause it to bulge or swell, a bit like a balloon. This is an aortic aneurysm. They do not usually cause problems, but when they grow too large it can be very dangerous.

Aortic aneurysm — Heart Foundation (external link)

Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats)

An arrhythmia is when your heart beats too fast, too slowly or in an uneven, irregular rhythm. There are different causes of arrhythmia. People with healthy hearts may have harmless irregular heart rhythms from time to time. However, an irregular heartbeat can be a sign of a heart condition. 

Arrhythmia — Heart Foundation (external link)

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common heart rhythm condition that causes an irregular and often rapid heart rate. It can cause stroke and heart failure. AF is the most common type of heart arrhythmia.

Atrial fibrillation — Heart Foundation (external link)

Cardiac arrest

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body.

Unless action is taken within minutes, cardiac arrest will be fatal. If you witness a cardiac arrest you can increase the person’s chances of survival by calling 111 immediately, doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Cardiac arrest — Heart Foundation (external link)


Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump. It makes the heart muscle get bigger, thick or rigid. In rare cases, the muscle tissue in the heart is replaced with scar tissue. Cardiomyopathy makes the heart weaker as it worsens. It is less able to pump blood through the body and maintain a normal electrical rhythm. This can lead to heart failure and rhythm problems (arrhythmias).

Cardiomyopathy Heart Foundation (external link)

Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease, also called ischaemic heart disease, happens when the major blood vessels in the heart get narrow and stiff. It is the most common kind of heart disease. It can cause heart attacks and angina.

Coronary artery disease Heart Foundation (external link)

Heart failure

Heart failure happens when your heart cannot pump blood or relax as well as it should. The term heart failure can be frightening, but it does not mean that your heart is going to stop working. Although heart failure cannot usually be cured, there is a lot you can do to manage it. 

Heart failure — Heart Foundation (external link)

Heart murmur

A heart murmur is a sound made by the blood flowing through the heart's valves. If the sound is unusual or does not follow the regular pattern, it is called a heart murmur. It is often harmless but sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious heart condition.

What is a heart murmur — Heart Foundation (external link)

Heart valve disease

When heart valves become diseased or damaged, they may not fully open or close. This makes it hard for your heart to pump properly. Your heart may try to make up for this by pumping harder to keep enough blood moving around your body. This can cause other heart problems as your heart muscle becomes overworked.

Heart valve disease — Heart Foundation (external link)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) causes heart cells that make up the heart muscle (myocardium) to become disorganised and form uneven layers. This causes the muscle of your heart to thicken and become stiffer or scar. This stiffness and scarring can stop your heart from pumping properly and lead to rhythm disorders.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — Heart Foundation (external link)

Infective endocarditis

Infective endocarditis is a serious infection of the tissue that lines the inside of the heart chambers. This can lead to heart valve problems. To develop this infection you need to have some bacteria or fungi in the bloodstream. 

Infective endocarditis — Heart Foundation (external link)


Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. It can affect the whole heart muscle or just parts of it. The inflammation can make the heart larger and weaker, which means the heart can't pump blood as well as it should. Most people with myocarditis recover without any complications. But, in rare cases, when inflammation is severe, there can be damage to the heart.

Myocarditis Heart Foundation (external link)


Pericarditis is inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart. The sac has two thin layers and normally a small amount of fluid keeps the layers separate. If the sac becomes inflamed, the amount of fluid between the two layers can increase. The amount of fluid can be enough to press on the heart and stop it from pumping as well as it should.

Pericarditis — Heart Foundation (external link)

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a rare, but life-threatening, condition. It affects the coronary arteries, the vessels that provide oxygenated blood to the heart. SCAD happens when blood flow in the heart slows or stops because of a tear in the wall of an artery. Blood then flows through the tear, pooling between the inner and outer linings of the artery. This reduces blood flow through the artery, sometimes blocking it completely.

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection — Heart Foundation (external link)

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome, is a condition often triggered by physical or emotional stress. The heart’s largest chamber swells and changes shape. This stops the heart pumping properly and reduces blood flow out of the heart.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy — Heart Foundation (external link)

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