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
8/15/2017
Could Newborn Heart Stem Cells Jump-Start Old Hearts?

Rat study suggests they can, but animal research doesn't always pan out in humans

8/10/2017
Kidney Disease May Boost Risk of Abnormal Heartbeat

And, the worse the kidney problems, the greater the odds of the heart condition, researchers say

8/2/2017
Geneticists Repair Mutation in Human Embryo

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

7/31/2017
Aspirin Safe for Heart Failure Patients, Study Finds

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

7/19/2017
As Your Weight Creeps Up, So Does Your Risk of Heart Failure

But losing a few pounds might help decrease the damage, cardiologist suggests

7/18/2017
Reducing Repeat Hospitalizations Doesn't Harm Patients: Study

Obamacare guidelines may mean better follow-up after discharge, researchers suggest

7/6/2017
Fewer Heart Failure Patients Dying of Cardiac Arrest

Researchers chock it up to better meds, as patients live longer and better

6/27/2017
Fewer Americans Hospitalized for Heart Failure

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

6/26/2017
Workers Unprepared for Heart Emergencies on the Job: Survey

Most employees are untrained in first aid and CPR and don't know where to find lifesaving equipment

6/26/2017
Childhood Poverty May Predict Heart Failure in Adulthood

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

6/22/2017
Too Few Women, Docs Understand Dangers of Heart Disease

It kills more than all cancers combined, but study says many overlook the risk

6/19/2017
Major Heart Group Says Doctor-Patient Talks Are Key

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

5/30/2017
Meth Addicts' Hearts May Improve If They Quit

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

5/17/2017
'Healthy Obese' May Be a Myth

Higher risk for heart problems detected in new study

5/16/2017
Angela Bassett Puts the Spotlight on Heart Health

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

5/16/2017
Iron Pills No Help for Certain Type of Heart Failure

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

5/15/2017
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

5/10/2017
Heart Failure Patients Do Better When Sticking With Same Hospital

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

5/2/2017
Heart Failure, Job Loss May Be Deadly Combo

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

4/18/2017
Pump Implants May Rejuvenate Heart Failure Patients

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

4/13/2017
Kidney Disease a Big Contributor to Heart-Related Deaths: Study

Finding points to need for screening for kidney function

4/5/2017
Can Stem Cell 'Patch' Help Heart Failure?

Small improvement seen over one year in early study

3/23/2017
Daily Glass of Beer, Wine Might Do a Heart Good

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

3/13/2017
Fish Oil Pills May Help After Heart Attack, Specialists Say

But review does not find it can help prevent heart problems

3/13/2017
Failed Fertility Treatments, Poorer Heart Health Later?

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

3/9/2017
Heart Disease Kicks in Earlier for Obese People

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

3/9/2017
Pot Use Tied to Higher Odds for Stroke, Heart Failure

Study couldn't prove cause and effect, but experts say it's another risk factor to heed

3/9/2017
Impotence Meds Might Give Men's Hearts a Boost, Too

But evidence isn't strong enough to routinely recommend Viagra or Cialis after heart attack, experts say

3/9/2017
Zika Virus May Also Harm the Heart

9 Venezuelan patients developed irregular heartbeat, heart failure after infection, researchers say

3/8/2017
Winter a Chilling Time for Heart Failure Patients

Studies found hospitalizations, deaths among these patients highest during that season

2/27/2017
Review Raises Questions About Herbal Meds for Heart Problems

While popular among patients, they haven't been proven safe or effective in clinical trials, study says

2/27/2017
More Exercise, Fewer Pounds: Cut Your Heart Failure Risk

Link was stronger for common but difficult-to-treat type of heart failure

2/17/2017
Heart, Lung Problems May Not Always Need ICU Care

Study finds no difference in death rates, but higher costs for intensive care for some patients

2/3/2017
What to Do If You Think You're Having a Heart Attack

Don't ignore chest pain and seek medical attention immediately, heart specialists say

1/26/2017
U.S. Heart Failure Rates on the Rise

And heart disease remains the nation's leading killer

1/18/2017
Soft Robotic Sleeve Shows Promise for Failing Hearts

But device has only been tested in pigs, so far

1/3/2017
Study Ties Alcohol Abuse to Increased Heart Risks

Association similar to that from high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and diabetes, researchers say

12/27/2016
Heart Failure Drug Shows Promise in First Human Trial

Cimaglermin appears to strengthen cells and improve heart function, researchers report

12/8/2016
Heart Failure Protein May Signal Early Brain Damage

Higher levels indicated potential trouble, study showed

12/1/2016
After Cancer, Higher Risk of Severe Heart Attack

Cardiologists, oncologists must work together, researcher says

11/28/2016
3 Keys to Cutting Your Risk of Heart Failure

Guarding against obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes at middle age may slash risk, study finds

11/28/2016
Alzheimer's Protein Plaques May Also Harm the Heart

Deposits can cause patients' heart muscle to stiffen, keeping it from pumping properly, study suggests

11/23/2016
Hearts of Healthy People With Gene Mutations May Be 'Primed to Fail'

About 35 million people worldwide face heart failure risk from genetic flaws, researchers say

11/16/2016
Device Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Treat Heart Failure

After a year, patients reported fewer symptoms, better quality of life, study finds

11/15/2016
Prices of Generic Heart Failure Drugs Vary Widely

Patients can spend from $12 to $400 a month to fill common prescriptions, study reveals

11/15/2016
Heart Failure Hospitalizations on the Rise in U.S.

But the length of stay is getting shorter and survival rates are going up, study finds

11/14/2016
Sharp Drop in Blood Pressure After Rx May Be Risky for Some Heart Patients

Early study suggests potential downside, but more research is needed, experts say

11/14/2016
Weight-Loss Surgery Tied to Lower Heart Risks

Patients were less likely to develop irregular heartbeat, diabetes, heart failure, study finds

11/14/2016
Meat-Heavy Diets May Raise Older Women's Heart Risks

Vegetable protein sources appear safer, study suggests

11/14/2016
Device Plus 'Aggressive' Drug Strategy May Curb Severe Heart Failure

Small study suggests real improvement for some patients, but more follow-up research is needed