Cardiology

New target identified for repairing the heart after heart attack

Billions of cardiac muscle cells are lost during a heart attack. The human heart cannot replenish these lost cells, so the default mechanism of repair is to form a cardiac scar. While this scar works well initially to avoid ...

Genetics

New insights into the healing capacity of the heart

A group of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, the Texas Heart Institute and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston reveals today in the journal Genes & Development new insights into the recently ...

Cardiology

Researchers uncover how popular drug helps in heart failure

Results were released today from the first two clinical studies designed specifically to examine the effects of the heart drug sacubitril/valsartan on the structure and function of the failing heart. Treatment with sacubitril/valsartan, ...

Medical research

Researchers create a new molecule to treat heart failure

A group of researchers based in Brazil and the United States have developed a molecule that halts the progression of heart failure and improves the heart's capacity to pump blood. Rats with heart failure were treated for ...

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Heart failure

Heart failure (HF) is a condition in which a problem with the structure or function of the heart impairs its ability to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body's needs. It should not be confused with cardiac arrest (see Terminology, below).

Common causes of heart failure include myocardial infarction and other forms of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, valvular heart disease and cardiomyopathy. Heart failure can cause a large variety of symptoms such as shortness of breath (typically worse when lying flat, which is called orthopnea), coughing, ankle swelling and reduced exercise capacity. Heart failure is often undiagnosed due to a lack of a universally agreed definition and challenges in definitive diagnosis. Treatment commonly consists of lifestyle measures (such as decreased salt intake) and medications, and sometimes devices or even surgery.

Heart failure is a common, costly, disabling and deadly condition. In developing countries, around 2% of adults suffer from heart failure, but in those over the age of 65, this increases to 6—10%. Mostly due to costs of hospitalization, it is associated with a high health expenditure; costs have been estimated to amount to 2% of the total budget of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, and more than $35 billion in the United States. Heart failure is associated with significantly reduced physical and mental health, resulting in a markedly decreased quality of life. With the exception of heart failure caused by reversible conditions, the condition usually worsens with time. Although some patients survive many years, progressive disease is associated with an overall annual mortality rate of 10%.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA