heart failure

What is heart failure?

Heart failure, or congestive heart failure, is a long-term condition that gets worse over time. Although the name sounds like your heart has stopped working, heart failure means your heart isn’t able to pump blood as well as it should. When your heart has less pumping power, that can damage your organs and fluid can collect in your lungs.

How common is heart failure?

Almost six million Americans have heart failure, and more than 870,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year. Heart failure (congestive heart failure) is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65.

    What are the types of heart failure?

  • There are many causes of heart failure, but the condition is generally broken down into these types:
  • Left-sided heart failure
  • Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function (HF-rEF)
  • The lower left chamber of your heart (left ventricle) gets bigger and cannot squeeze (contract) hard enough to pump the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body.
  • Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function (HF-pEF)
  • Your heart contracts and pumps normally, but the bottom chambers of your heart (ventricles) are thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, your ventricles can't relax properly and fill up all the way. Because there's less blood in your ventricles, your heart pumps out less blood to the rest of your body when it contracts.
  • Right-sided heart failure
  • Heart failure can also affect the right side of your heart. Left-sided heart failure is the most common cause of this. Other causes include certain lung problems and issues in other organs.
  • What is congestive heart failure?

  • This is a state in which your heart hasn’t been able to handle the blood volume. This causes an accumulation in other parts of your body, most commonly in your lungs and lower extremities (feet/legs).
  • What are the complications of heart failure?

  • Some of the complications from heart failure include:
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Heart valve problems.
  • A collection of fluid in your lungs.