Heart failure

Failure of the heart to provide sufficient blood flow / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Heart failure (HF), also known as congestive heart failure (CHF), is a syndrome, a group of signs and symptoms, caused by an impairment of the heart's blood pumping function. Symptoms typically include shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, and leg swelling. The shortness of breath may occur with exertion or while lying down, and may wake people up during the night.[3] Chest pain, including angina, is not usually caused by heart failure, but may occur if the heart failure was caused by a heart attack.[11][12] The severity of the heart failure is mainly decided based on ejection fraction and also measured by the severity of symptoms .[7] Other conditions that may have symptoms similar to heart failure include obesity, kidney failure, liver disease, anemia, and thyroid disease.[7]

Quick facts: Heart failure, Other names, Specialty, Sympto...
Heart failure
Other namesCongestive heart failure (CHF), congestive cardiac failure (CCF)[1][2]
A man with congestive heart failure and marked jugular venous distension. External jugular vein marked by an arrow.
SymptomsShortness of breath, exhaustion, swollen legs[3]
CausesHeart attack, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, excessive alcohol use, infection, heart damage[4]
Risk factorsSmoking, sedentary lifestyle, exposure to second-hand smoke[5]
Diagnostic methodEchocardiogram[6]
Differential diagnosisKidney failure, thyroid disease, liver disease, anemia, obesity[7]
MedicationDiuretics, cardiac medications[4][6]
Frequency40 million (2015),[8] 1–2% of adults (developed countries)[6][9]
Deaths35% risk of death in first year[10]

Common causes of heart failure include coronary artery disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, valvular heart disease, excessive alcohol consumption, infection, and cardiomyopathy.[4][6] These cause heart failure by altering the structure or the function of the heart or in some cases both.[6] There are different types of heart failure: right-sided heart failure, which affects the right heart, left-sided heart failure, which affects the left heart, and biventricular heart failure, which affects both sides of the heart.[13] Left-sided heart failure may be present with a reduced ejection fraction or with a preserved ejection fraction.[10] Heart failure is not the same as cardiac arrest, in which blood flow stops completely due to the failure of the heart to pump.[14][15]

Diagnosis is based on symptoms, physical findings, and echocardiography.[6] Blood tests, and a chest x-ray may be useful to determine the underlying cause.[16] Treatment depends on severity and case.[17] For people with chronic, stable, mild heart failure, treatment usually consists of lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, physical exercise, and dietary changes, as well as medications.[18][19][20] In heart failure due to left ventricular dysfunction, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, or angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors, along with beta blockers, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists and SGLT2 inhibitors are recommended.[6] Diuretics may also be prescribed to prevent fluid retention and the resulting shortness of breath.[21] Depending on the case, an implanted device such as a pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator may sometimes be recommended.[17] In some moderate or more severe cases, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)[22] or cardiac contractility modulation may be beneficial.[23] In severe disease that persists despite all other measures, a cardiac assist device ventricular assist device, or, occasionally, heart transplantation may be recommended.[21]

Heart failure is a common, costly, and potentially fatal condition,[24] and is the leading cause of hospitalization and readmission in older adults.[25][26] Heart failure often leads to more drastic health impairments than failure of other, similarly complex organs such as the kidneys or liver.[27] In 2015, it affected about 40 million people worldwide.[8] Overall, heart failure affects about 2% of adults,[24] and more than 10% of those over the age of 70.[6] Rates are predicted to increase.[24] The risk of death in the first year after diagnosis is about 35%, while the risk of death in the second year is less than 10% in those still alive.[10] The risk of death is comparable to that of some cancers.[10] In the United Kingdom, the disease is the reason for 5% of emergency hospital admissions.[10] Heart failure has been known since ancient times, it is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus around 1550 BCE.[28]