Heart Failure

Heart failure is the term used to describe many conditions of the heart that lead to symptoms such as breathlessness, weakness, fatigue, and swelling of the legs. In general, this condition is caused by a heart that cannot pump blood effectively enough to meet the demand of the body for oxygen and nutrition. In most cases the heart is weak but there are situations in which the heart may squeeze well but patients still have the typical symptoms. There are many causes of heart failure and determining the cause of heart failure is very important.

Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart muscle gets progressively weaker and is unable to pump effectively to meet the body’s need for blood and oxygen. Heart failure usually results in an enlarged heart. There are two main types of heart failure. The first type is dilated cardiomyopathy in which the heart walls become thin and weak. The second type is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in which the heart walls become thick. Heart attack, coronary artery disease, valvular disease, and enlarged heart disease can be risk factors for this condition.

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