Breaking News
May 28, 2018 - New consensus statement outlines evidence-based medical opinion on abusive head trauma
May 28, 2018 - E-Cigarettes Don’t Help Smokers Quit, But Cash Might
May 28, 2018 - New screening tool developed to assess tanning addiction
May 28, 2018 - Unhappy combination of alcohol, anger, and aggressive behavior
May 28, 2018 - Loyola survey identifies significant group of burn patients with elevated PTSD symptoms
May 28, 2018 - Cancer cells co-opt pain-sensing ‘wasabi receptor’ to survive oxidative stress
May 27, 2018 - New way of grouping atoms could herald novel materials, drugs and computers
May 27, 2018 - Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
May 27, 2018 - Breast cancer survivors do not receive recommended level of screening after surgery
May 27, 2018 - Recommendations Developed for Managing Postpartum Pain
May 27, 2018 - Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) | Arthritis Basics | Arthritis Types | Arthritis
May 27, 2018 - ‘Life support’ for transplant livers better than freezing: study
May 27, 2018 - Tree nut consumption linked to improved type 2 diabetes health
May 27, 2018 - Income and education gap causes racial differences in health behaviors, study shows
May 27, 2018 - Even at ‘Safe’ Levels, Air Pollution Puts Seniors at Risk
May 27, 2018 - Obstructive sleep apnea linked to thinning of calvaria, skull base
May 27, 2018 - Epigem’s Managing Director sets the bar for life sciences industry at VentureFest
May 27, 2018 - CPAP may reduce resting heart rate in prediabetic patients
May 27, 2018 - Study reveals striking disparities in health care access and quality across most nations
May 27, 2018 - The Yogi masters were right—meditation and breathing exercises can sharpen your mind
May 27, 2018 - SLU researcher aims to find solutions for diabetes patients at risk of hypoglycemia
May 27, 2018 - Scientists uncover the cause of insulin resistance in obesity
May 27, 2018 - $2.3 million NIH grant to support new project on oxytocin neurons and social behavior
May 27, 2018 - Less Driving Tied to Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk
May 27, 2018 - Genetics Home Reference: LMNA-related congenital muscular dystrophy
May 27, 2018 - Long-term psychological study confirms time is the best medicine against homesickness
May 27, 2018 - Study explores if CPAP treatment can improve sexual QOL for sleep apnea patients
May 27, 2018 - Study investigates role played by brain in prosocial behavior
May 27, 2018 - New Guidelines Mean 1 in 3 Adults May Need Blood Pressure Meds
May 27, 2018 - Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Analysis: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
May 27, 2018 - Kids in tough neighborhoods head to ER more often
May 27, 2018 - Exercise alters brain’s dopamine system to help treat addiction, study finds
May 27, 2018 - Sepsis patients treated and released from ED for outpatient follow-up experience good outcomes
May 27, 2018 - Initiative cuts overuse of tests, treatments for bronchiolitis
May 27, 2018 - Study links ‘sleep spindles’ to memory reactivation
May 27, 2018 - Scientists develop new method to speed up genome evolution of baker’s yeast
May 27, 2018 - Sunscreen pills are fake says FDA
May 27, 2018 - Study finds increasing wealth gap between households of seniors and families with children
May 27, 2018 - Link between tuberculosis and Parkinson’s disease discovered
May 27, 2018 - Doctors call on health authorities for permission to provide stroke patients with life-saving treatment
May 26, 2018 - Couples who eat seafood-rich diet tend to get pregnant faster
May 26, 2018 - NIH summit presents recommendations to accelerate treatment development for Alzheimer’s disease
May 26, 2018 - Medication-related harm found to be common among older adults, but preventable
May 26, 2018 - Lunaphore and Vitro announce partnership to develop ISH protocols for RNA, DNA targets
May 26, 2018 - Cryoablation Efficacious for Cancer Pain, Review Finds
May 26, 2018 - Link between IBD and Parkinson’s might allow doctors to slow down condition
May 26, 2018 - Study finds fewer than 5% of low-income, urban mothers use prenatal vitamins before pregnancy
May 26, 2018 - California hospitals urge moms to favor breast milk over formula
May 26, 2018 - Most concussion patients do not receive follow-up care after hospital discharge, says study
May 26, 2018 - Lifetime risks of developing Alzheimer’s dementia vary by age, gender
May 26, 2018 - Researchers find novel ways to improve participation in clinical research
May 26, 2018 - Researchers develop methods for measuring free-base nicotine levels in e-cigarettes
May 26, 2018 - AHA: Preterm Birth Could Warn of Mom’s Future Heart Risks
May 26, 2018 - Some calories more harmful than others
May 26, 2018 - Study links cell size with commitment to division
May 26, 2018 - Researchers develop new, rapid blood test to detect liver damage
May 26, 2018 - Researchers discover cascade of immune processes linked to poor outcomes in aggressive breast cancer
May 26, 2018 - New research will use mathematics to solve mysteries in cell biology
May 26, 2018 - Proposed National Resilience Strategy to reverse catastrophic increases in ‘deaths of despair’
May 26, 2018 - Mice remain slim on burger diet
May 26, 2018 - BMC receives $13.5 million award to test methods for delivering childhood anxiety treatment
May 26, 2018 - ‘Right to Try Act’ will not benefit terminally-ill patients
May 26, 2018 - Study reveals novel statistical algorithm to identify potential disease genes
May 26, 2018 - Two genes play vital roles in malignant brain cancer
May 26, 2018 - Study explores link between groundwater lithium and diagnoses of bipolar disorder, dementia
May 26, 2018 - Researchers reveal stimulatory effects of myelin on young neural cells
May 26, 2018 - Small part of cellular protein that helps form long-term memories also drives neurodegeneration
May 26, 2018 - Four-legged friends can have heart issues, too
May 26, 2018 - Scientists create small, self-contained spaces inside mammalian cells
May 26, 2018 - Better Social Support Network Protects Black Men Against HIV
May 26, 2018 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
May 26, 2018 - Burnout, depression can affect ophthalmology residents, study finds
May 26, 2018 - Latinos and African Americans more likely to experience serious depression than Whites
May 26, 2018 - Data from past epidemic could help improve response to future Ebola outbreaks
May 26, 2018 - Researchers provide insight into how the memory molecule limits brain plasticity
May 26, 2018 - OSU biologist describes ‘restoration ecology’ approach toward patient health
May 26, 2018 - New approach to study brown fat could aid in finding treatments for obesity
May 26, 2018 - UCI Center on Stress & Health receives NIH funding to develop digital health interventions
May 26, 2018 - Could More Fish in the Diet Boost Sex Lives and Fertility?
May 26, 2018 - NTU Singapore and SERI invent new scope to diagnose glaucoma
What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Credit: American Heart Association

Heart failure – one of the conditions former first lady Barbara Bush has been diagnosed with – is a fairly common condition, especially among older patients.

About 6.5 million people in the Unites States have heart failure, which occurs when the heart becomes too weak to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body.

Heart failure can happen at any age but is more common in older people. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and excess weight can also increase the risk of heart failure, especially for those with underlying heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, a history of heart attack, high blood pressure or diabetes. Congenital heart defects that make the heart work harder can also lead to heart failure in children and adults.

The most common symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling in the ankles, feet, legs and abdomen – all the result of fluid building up in the body. This can worsen over time as the heart muscle continues to weaken. Such fluid buildup can also cause weight gain, frequent urination and a cough that worsens when lying down.

The condition can affect only one side, but often involve both sides of the heart.

Left-sided heart failure occurs when the heart’s left ventricle, which provides most of its pumping power, is unable to pump enough oxygenated blood to circulate through the body. Often, the ventricle can’t contract normally to maintain the force needed, or the muscle has become stiff and is unable to fill with blood when the heart rests between each beat.

Right-sided heart failure happens when the right ventricle can no longer adequately pump blood back into the lungs to be replenished with oxygen. This type of heart failure often occurs as a result of damage caused on the left side which then affects right side over time.

There is no cure for heart failure but there are many treatment options, including a combination of medications, lifestyle changes and medical devices. People with severe heart failure may need other medical procedures or surgery, such as a mechanical heart pump or heart transplant.


Explore further:
Smoking may increase heart failure risk among African-Americans

Provided by:
American Heart Association

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles