Almost six million Americans have been diagnosed with heart failure and another 870,000 are diagnosed each year. Heart failure, or congestive heart failure, happens when the muscles in the heart are too weak to pump blood as well as they should. This mostly occurs after other conditions have weakened the heart.
The causes of heart failure include:
A single risk factor may be enough to cause heart failure, but a combination of factors will increase your risk further.
Yes, heart failure can be reversed. Lifestyle changes are often a good path to recovery from heart failure, but serious cases may require medication, implants, or surgery.
The key to prevention is reducing the risk factors you can control. Things like age and family history, you can’t change. However, here are some steps you can take to decrease your risk of heart failure:
As a chronic condition, heart failure needs lifelong management through lifestyle changes, treating underlying conditions, or certain medications. Different types of surgery might be needed to improve conditions that might be causing heart failure, like heart valve repair or replacement, coronary bypass surgery, or ventricular assist devices.
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