Author: Ajay Mhatre, M.D., FACC
Heart failure is a significant health issue that my team at Phoenix Heart Center frequently manages. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5.1 million people in the United States have heart failure, and one in 9 deaths in 2009 included heart failure as a contributing cause. It’s important that you’re aware of the risk factors for heart failure and that you know what conditions and behaviors can lead to this condition.
In this blog post, I hope to share with you some valuable information about heart failure. If you are unlikely to be at-risk, yourself, then share this blog post with a close friend or family member who could be at risk. Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure can have a beneficial impact on quality of life and length of life – but you have to start now!
What Is Heart Failure?
Heart failure – also referred to as “congestive heart failure” – describes a condition that occurs when the heart cannot pump blood as efficiently as it should. Heart failure may be caused by narrow/blocked arteries, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity (among other causes).
Heart Failure Risk Factors
- High blood pressure
- Having had a heart attack
- Diabetes (and some medications used to manage diabetes)
- Coronary artery disease
- Congenital heart defect
- Heart valve disease
- Alcohol/tobacco use
Your Phoenix cardiologist can tell you more about specific risk factors relevant to you.
Common Heart Failure Symptoms
Symptoms of heart failure may include fatigue, swelling of the legs, ankles or feet, shortness of breath, and abdominal swelling or weight gain caused by fluid retention (amongst other symptoms). If you experience symptoms that could be associated with heart failure, tell your primary care physician.
Symptoms such as chest pain, sudden and severe shortness of breath, and rapid or irregular heart rate (with chest pain, fainting, or shortness of breath) should be taken seriously. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency treatment.
Treating Heart Failure With Your Phoenix Cardiologist
Some cases of heart failure may be addressed by treating the underlying cause. In many cases, heart failure is irreversible, but medications may be successful in keeping symptoms and disease progression under control. Your Phoenix cardiologist may talk to you about…
- ACE Inhibitors
- Beta blockers
- Surgical options and implantable devices
Schedule Your Appointment With a Phoenix Cardiologist
Has your primary care physician suggested you see a cardiologist? Learn more about Phoenix Heart Center by contacting us today.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.