Body Fluids and Circulation

Disorders of Circulatory System

We all know that the heart beats nonstop. But, have you ever wondered what would happen, if some part of the circulatory system does not function well? What would be the repercussions? You must be very familiar with a heart attack and high blood pressure. Both of these come under disorders of  circulatory system. Let us analyse these further.

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Disorders of Circulatory System

The circulatory system seen in humans is a complex mechanism. It functions 24/7, ensuring that there is a proper flow of blood to all parts of the body. The heart beats nonstop and there is an exchange of gases and nutrients that happen.  Interruptions and blockages in the blood vessels affect the way the heart pumps blood. Sometimes, these can cause some major complications leading to heart disease and even stroke. Complications also arise due to different lifestyle factors as well as genetic factors.

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Diseases of the Circulatory system       

Heart attack

(Source: Wikipedia)           


Often called as the silent killer, high blood pressure does not show any symptoms. High blood pressure often damages the heart and leads to heart diseases and can also affect other vital organs.

Our bodies have a constant rate of blood pressure. This is a measurement of the force that is used to pump blood through the arteries. The normal range of blood pressure in humans is 120/80 mmHg. The two values denote the Systolic and Diastolic pressure.  Systolic pressure is the force inside the arteries when the heart beats. The diastolic blood pressure is measured when the heart is at rest, i.e. in between the heartbeats.

In high blood pressure, the force with which the heart pumps out blood is high. If the blood pressure, of an individual, is at 140/90 mmHg, then it indicates hypertension.

Coronary Heart Diseases


(Source: Britannica)

Most often it is also called as atherosclerosis. It primarily affects the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart, which are the arteries. The arteries get hardened because of the deposition of plaque. Plaque is generally made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, clotting agents, cell debris, etc. which are normally found circulating in the blood.  A build up over time restricts or fully blocks the blood flow. Blood clots also block the arteries.

Heart Attack

One of the most infamous disorders of circulatory system is the heart attack. In medical terms, heart attacks are called as Myocardial Infarction. When enough blood does not reach the heart due to blockages, a heart attack happens, which damages the heart muscle. Some of the risk factors that increase the chances of having a heart attack include high fat and cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, family history, diabetes, stress, obesity, inactive lifestyle, age and gender.


Angina Pectoris is the medical name for chest pain due to coronary heart disease.  Here, the heart does not receive enough blood mainly because the arteries of the heart are narrowed or blocked. It causes uncomfortable pressure and pain in the centre of the chest.

Heart Failure

It is a state when the heart does not pump blood effectively to meet the needs of the body.  A few early symptoms include swelling of the ankles, fatigue, and an increased need to urinate at night. Rapid breathing, chest pain, and fainting are the severe symptoms of heart failure.

Solved Questions For You

Q: Differentiate between cardiac arrest, heart attack and heart failure.

Ans: All the above-mentioned diseases are the diseases of the cardiovascular system.  Cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops beating. A heart attack happens when the heart muscle gets damaged due to the inadequate blood supply. Heart failure is a condition where the heart does not pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body.

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