Chronic Heart Failure

Treating chronic, unremitting grief

After Stephanie Muldberg's 13-year-old son Eric died of Ewing's sarcoma in 2004, she was lost in a sea of grief. Her days were long, unstructured, monotonous. She barely left her New Jersey home. When she did leave, she planned ...

Nov 15, 2016
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Heart failure (HF) often called congestive heart failure (CHF) is generally defined as the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition is diagnosed with echocardiography and blood tests. Treatment commonly consists of lifestyle measures (such as smoking cessation, light exercise including breathing protocols, decreased salt intake and other dietary changes) and medications, and sometimes devices or even surgery.

Common causes of heart failure include myocardial infarction and other forms of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, valvular heart disease, and cardiomyopathy. The term "heart failure" is sometimes incorrectly used to describe other cardiac-related illnesses, such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) or cardiac arrest, which can cause heart failure but are not equivalent to heart failure.

Heart failure is a common, costly, disabling, and potentially deadly condition. In developed countries, around 2% of adults suffer from heart failure, but in those over the age of 65, this increases to 6–10%.

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