Explore How the Heart Works
Your heart is made up of many parts working together to pump blood. In a healthy heart, all the parts work well so that your heart pumps blood normally. As a result, all parts of your body that depend on the heart to deliver blood also stay healthy.
Heart disease can disrupt a heart's normal electrical system and pumping functions. Diseases and conditions of the heart's muscle make it hard for your heart to properly pump blood.
Damaged or diseased blood vessels make the heart work harder than normal. Problems with the heart's electrical system, called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), can make it hard for the heart to pump blood efficiently.
Health Topics has many articles about heart diseases and conditions. For more information, go to the Health Topics home page.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans.
September 2, 2014
Gary H. Gibbons
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The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.