Heart failure, sometimes known as congestive heart failure (CHF), occurs when your heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it should. Conditions such as narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently.
Not all conditions that lead to heart failure can be reversed, but treatments can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer. Lifestyle changes, such as exercising, reducing salt in your diet, managing stress and especially losing weight, can improve your quality of life.
The best way to prevent heart failure is to control conditions that cause heart failure, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity.
Aug. 16, 2013
- What is heart failure? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf/. Accessed May 3, 2013.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed May 3, 2013.
- Lindenfield J, et al. 2010 HFSA Comprehensive practice guideline. Journal of Cardiac Failure. 2010;16:475.
- Heart failure. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular_disorders/heart_failure/heart_failure_hf.html#v935853. Accessed May 6, 2013.
- Weintraub NL, et al. Acute heart failure syndromes: Emergency department presentation, treatment and disposition - Current approaches and future aims. Circulation. 2010;122:1975.
- Ramachandran SV, et al. Epidemiology and causes of heart failure. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 5, 2013.
- Schocken DD, et al. Prevention of heart failure: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2008;117:2544.
- Yancy CW, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of heart failure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. [In press]. Accessed June 9, 2013. [date].
- Horwitz L, et al. Heart failure self-management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 5, 2013.
- Riegel B, et al. State of the science: Promoting self-care in persons with heart failure — A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2009;120:1141.
- U.S. News best hospitals 2012-2013. U.S. News & World Report. http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.