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- Heart failure definition and facts
- What is heart failure?
- What are the different types of heart failure?
- What are heart failure symptoms and signs?
- What are the risk factors for heart failure?
- What causes heart failure?
- What are heart failure stages or classifications?
- How is heart failure diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for heart failure?
- What diet and lifestyle management techniques helps heart failure?
- What medications treat heart failure?
- What procedures or surgery treats heart failure?
- Which specialties of doctors treat heart failure?
- What are the potential complications of heart failure?
- What is the prognosis and life expectancy for a person with heart failure?
- Can heart failure be prevented?
Quick GuideHeart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack
What are heart failure symptoms and signs?
Symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath
- Exercise intolerance
- Loss of appetite
- Coughing (or chronic cough)
- Pounding or racing heart
- Excessive tiredness
- Problems thinking
- Swelling in the ankles
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Chest pain
Symptoms are usually worse at night when lying flat. Symptoms are very similar for systolic and diastolic heart failure. Your doctor may need further testing to see which type you have.
What are the risk factors for heart failure?
The most common risk factors for heart failure include:
- Coronary artery disease
- Previous heart attack
- Heart valve problems
- Other major risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Genetics (congenital heart defects)
- Infections (especially viral infections)
Less well recognized risk factors of heart failure include:
- Sleep apnea
- Nutrient deficiencies
- An unhealthy diet (low in antioxidant vegetables and high in animal fats)
- Lack of exercise
All of these also contribute to coronary artery disease, which is a major risk factor for heart failure.