Heart Failure News

Heart failure occurs when your heart is no longer meeting the blood-pumping needs of your body. In some cases, the heart lacks the force to pump blood through the body; in others, the heart does not fill with an adequate supply of blood. Some people have both types of heart failure simultaneously.

Heart failure doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped functioning or is about to. It's a condition that typically occurs gradually over time as the heart weakens.

Causes and Symptoms

Heart failure is often a complication of other conditions related to heart health, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Thus, people who have problems that lead to these issues -- such as those who are obese or those who've had a heart attack -- are also at risk for heart failure. In children, congenital heart defects can ultimately lead to heart failure.

If you have heart failure, your body will give you a number of warning signs that something is wrong. They can include fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and lack of appetite. You may also find yourself getting confused or having impaired thinking. Breathing becomes more difficult, and coughing and wheezing are common. Swelling caused by fluid buildup can occur in various places in the body, and your heart rate may increase.

Prevention and Treatment

Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake and exercising regularly can all help prevent heart failure as well as improve quality of life after it has occurred. Doctors generally prescribe a number of different types of medication to help with the symptoms and complications of heart failure. As heart failure advances, you may need a device like a pacemaker implanted into the body to assist your body in pumping blood properly. Heart transplants are a measure of last resort for people with severe heart failure when all other options have failed.

SOURCES: U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; American Heart Association

Date Posted
Article Title
Black Women Face Double the Risk of Pregnancy-Related Heart Failure

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In 'first-of-its kind' procedure, scientists converted to normal a mutant gene involved in heart threat

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Large trial comparing it to warfarin finds aspirin not tied to more hospitalizations or deaths

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But blacks still face far greater odds than whites, study finds

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Income inequalities when young appear to have lifelong effects, research suggests

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Info needs to be tailored to patient's needs, level of understanding

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Only those who stopped using the drug reaped cardiac benefits, researchers say

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Higher risk for heart problems detected in new study

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Award-winning actress' mother had type 2 diabetes and died from heart issues

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High-dose supplements failed to improve exercise capacity, study says

Timing of Menopause May Affect Heart Failure Risk

Women whose periods end early and those who never give birth seem at added risk, research suggests

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Continuity of care may be more important than speedy treatment, researchers say

Heart Failure, Job Loss May Be Deadly Combo

In study, heart failure patients had higher death risk if unemployed, but cause-and-effect unclear

Pump Implants May Rejuvenate Heart Failure Patients

Study found devices, typically used while awaiting a transplant, restored full function in some

Kidney Disease a Big Contributor to Heart-Related Deaths: Study

Finding points to need for screening for kidney function

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Small improvement seen over one year in early study

Daily Glass of Beer, Wine Might Do a Heart Good

But drinking more may be bad news for your cardiovascular system, researchers say

Fish Oil Pills May Help After Heart Attack, Specialists Say

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Failed Fertility Treatments, Poorer Heart Health Later?

Study found small link, but researchers not sure if treatments or underlying health problems to blame

Heart Disease Kicks in Earlier for Obese People

Study found that weight did not affect life span as much as quality of life