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A 40-year-old member asked:

can you describe heart failure?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Francis Uricchio
Cardiology 38 years experience
Fluid overload: Congestive heart failure is a state where the body holds onto salt and water that you eat and drink which fails to come out in the urine. This is typically the result of a heart that is not working properly. For a variety of reasons, the heart sends a signal to the kidneys to hold on to salt and water resulting in shortness of breath and swelling of the extremities.
Dr. Howard Rubin
Cardiology 47 years experience
Heart failure: The inability of the heart to increase the output to keep up with the oxygen needs of the body. As the heart weakens as a pump, the work load of the body that the heart can support becomes lower. A good metaphor would be to think of an 8 cylinder engine moving a car analogous to a healthy heart. A weak heart my be running on 4 cylinders.

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A 44-year-old member asked:

What are factors that contribute to heart failure?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Milunski
Cardiology 37 years experience
Heart failure: Probably the 2 major conditions that contribute to the development of heart failure are high blood pressure and diabetes. Both of these conditions can have a direct, detrimental effect on the heart or cause heart failure through the development of coronary artery disease. At least 75% of people with heart failure in United States have a history of high blood pressure.
A 38-year-old member asked:

What drugs can cause heart failure?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Milunski
Cardiology 37 years experience
Drugs and HF: There are several drugs used to treat specific types of cancer that are associated with the development of heart failure. The most common are doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and trastuzamab. This doesn't mean that they should not be used but that their use should be carefully monitored. Alcohol, cocaine, and amphetamines can also cause heart failure.
A 26-year-old member asked:

What happens if someone has left heart failure?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Stern
Cardiology 46 years experience
Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath, dyspnea on exertion, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, pedal edema, pulmonary edema.
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A 38-year-old member asked:

What is the typical treatment for right side heart failure?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shahin Tavackoli
Cardiology 23 years experience
Not easy: Unfortunately, our understanding and treatment of right heart failure is not at the level of left heart failure. One has to be careful with fluid management because in the case of right heart failure, you're actually dependent on volume to keep the function of the heart going, therefore, overly aggressive fluid management treatments often backfire. The balance is much more important here.
A 39-year-old member asked:

How deadly is acute heart failure?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Jost
Cardiology 36 years experience
Could be very: Could lead to death if not treated but the problem is that acute heart failure, if recurrent, leads to to chronic heart failure which has a mortality of 50% at five years (if untreated).

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Last updated Apr 4, 2020

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