Heart failure occurs when the cardiovascular system is unable to meet the metabolic demands of the body, or when it can only do so at elevated filling pressures. Common causes include ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, valvular heart disease, diabetes mellitus, drugs or congenital heart disease.
Dyspnea, fatigue and swelling (in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen) are some of the most common symptoms of heart failure . The start of symptoms is heralded by feelings of tiredness or extremely short breath following any physical exertions.
The symptoms get worse as the condition continues and so the individual can begin to feel tired and short of breath after getting dressed or simply walking across the room. It will progress to a stage where the individual will be out of breath while lying flat.
The New York Heart Association (NYHA) classifies heart failure into classes based on functional limitations and severity: Class I (no limitation in any activities), Class II (mild observable symptoms and slight limitation during ordinary activity), Class III (marked limitation of any activity) and Class IV (severe limitations, symptoms occur at rest).
Proper evaluation of the patient’s history as well as physical checks for signs of congestion such as jugular venous distention can bring about the underlying cardiac abnormality in heart failure . It may however, be needful to subject the individual to other tests and studies to pinpoint conditions or systemic abnormalities that may either lead to or exacerbate heart failure.
Diagnostic procedures for clearer diagnosis include:
Treatment of heart failure is focused on improving symptoms and also interfering with the pathophysiology of the condition . Reversible causes of the condition, such as infection, alcohol ingestion, anemia or hypertension need to be addressed.
Treatments include lifestyle and pharmacological modalities. Device therapy is used in some cases and on rare occasions, cardiac transplantation may be needful.
Generally, mortality as a result of hospitalization in patients with heart failure is 10.4% at 30 days, 22% at 1 year and 42.3% at 5 years . This is regardless of the sharp improvement in medical solutions. When there is a rehospitalisation, the chances of mortality increases by a further 20 to 22%.
In many cases, heart failure is caused by coronary heart disease (CHD), high blood pressure, and diabetes. Treating these problems can improve the condition of heart failure patients. Other possible etiologic factors include:
Heart failure is a condition that occurs worldwide . In the United States, heart failure affects around 5.7 million Americans of all ages and sexes. It is also responsible for more hospitalisations than all forms of cancer.
Data in developing nations are not as complete as what is obtainable in the Western world.
Heart failure refers to any condition that reduces the efficiency of the myocardium through damage or overloading . It can be caused by a wide range of conditions. These etiologic factors affect the heart in various ways and cause an increase in workload which ends up producing changes to the heart.
All of these lead to the general effect of reduced cardiac output, causing an increased strain on the heart. It increases the risk of cardiac arrest especially as a result of ventricular dysrhythmias and brings about a reduction in blood supply to other areas of the body.
The major key to the prevention of heart failure is reduction of the risk factors. The risk factors of heart failure can be eliminated by making lifestyle changes and with the help of relevant medications. Lifestyle changes that can help in prevention of heart failure include :
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to meet the metabolic of the body, or when it can only do so at elevated filling pressures. .
Heart failure develops over time as the pumping action of the heart grows weaker. The condition can affect the right side of the heart only or the left side only. In majority of cases however, both sides of the heart are affected .
Right-side heart failure happens when the heart can’t pump enough blood to the lungs to gather oxygen. Left-side heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump oxygen rich blood to other parts of the body.
Heart failure happens, when the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood as is supposed. Conditions like thinned down arteries in the heart or high blood pressure end up leaving the heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently.
Only some of the conditions that lead to heart failure can be reversed but treatments can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure allowing most people to it to live much longer. In people with risk of heart failure, making life style changes such as exercise, reduction of salt consumption or weight loss can lead to improvement in quality of life.