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SCREENING FOR HEART DISEASE

GLOSSARY

WOMEN & HEART DISEASE

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Heart Disorders Glossary

A    B-D    E-L    M-R    S-Z    

ABG (Arterial Blood Gas) Test: A test that measures how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in the blood.

Anemia: A condition in which there are low levels of red blood cells in the blood. Hemoglobin is the component of red blood cells (RBCs) that carries oxygen.

Aneurysm: A bulging (or "ballooning") in the wall of an artery or vein.

Angina Pectoris: Chest pain caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart.

Anticoagulant: A type of medication that prevents clotting (coagulation) of the blood. Also called a blood thinner.

Aorta: The main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart.

Aortic Aneurysm: An aneurysm (ballooning) in the wall of the aorta.

Aortic Valve: The valve located between the left ventricle and the aorta. The aortic valve contains three half-moon shaped flaps. Blood must pass through this valve as it pumped to the body.

Arrhythmia: Irregular heartbeat.

Artery: A vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart. The pulmonary artery, however, carries oxygen-poor blood to the lungs.

Atherosclerosis: Hardening of the arteries. fat deposits from the blood collect in the arteries, making them thicker and less flexible.

Atrial Fibrillation: A type of rhythmic disorder (arrhythmia), where the upper chambers of the heart contract in an irregular and disorganized manner. The heartbeat is usually very rapid.

Atrial Flutter: Similar to atrial fibrillation as a type of rhythmic disorder (arrhythmia), where the upper chambers of the heart contract at a rapid rate. Unlike atrial fibrillation, however, the contractions are usually more regular.

Atrial Septum: The membranous tissue located between the two upper chambers of the heart, the left and right atria.

Atrioventricular Node (AV Node): Part of the electrical (conduction) pathway of the heart that signals the heart to contract and relax.

Atrium: One of the two upper chambers of the heart. The right atrium collects oxygen-poor blood from the body. The left atrium collects oxygen-rich blood from the lungs.