Heart Changes Are Part of this Adaptive Mechanism

The changes that take place in heart disease also develop when the body attempts to cope with conditions or influences that threaten life; as such, they are part of our defense mechanism. We have seen that when the heart has more work to do than it can safely handle, its muscle is forced to enlarge. This change allows the heart to cope with the increased amount of work and to protect it against collapse.

When the blood vessels become thickened and hardened or when scar tissue develops in the muscle or in and around the valves of the heart, these changes too arise from an attempt to repair an inflamed or damaged area, and to prevent the damage from spreading.

The ability of the body to make these repairs, even though they bring with them an alteration in structure, is instrumental in saving human life.

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