Heart Failure Risk Factors
A recent report published by the American Heart Association estimates that 6.2 million American adults have heart failure, and that number is growing as the U.S. population continues to age. Heart failure is most common in African Americans, individuals with a family history of HF, and those who are 65 and older. It is the number one reason older people are hospitalized.
Unhealthy lifestyle factors and certain medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease and obesity are also associated with an elevated risk for HF.
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Treating Congestive Heart Failure Symptomshow Palliative Care Can Help
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people facing a serious illness like CHF. The goal is to improve quality of life for both you and your family. You can have palliative care at any age and at any stage of your illness. You can also have it together with curative treatment.
Palliative care is provided by a team of palliative care doctors, nurses and social workers. They work together with your cardiologist to give you an extra layer of support.
The team has a wide variety of approaches to treating congestive heart failure symptoms. These may include medicines, but not always.
Palliative care teams are expertly trained to manage symptoms, side effects and stresses. For example, they may perform highly effective lymphatic drainage. This is a technique for reducing leg swelling and its associated pain.
Theyll educate you about how to stand, sit and lie down to improve your breathing. Theyll also train you in the use of fans, relaxation methods, meditation and breathing exercises to decrease any anxiety or panic that may accompany feelings of breathlessness.
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How To Live Longer With Heart Failure
Everything you need to know about the various stages of heart failure to live longer with the condition.
A congestive heart failure diagnosis doesnt mean your heart has stopped working, it means that your heart is unable to pump enough blood throughout your body.
Heart failure is a scary term, says , a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The condition can worsen if the proper steps arent taken to slow or halt the problem, but it does not mean your life is over.
Congestive heart failure, more simply known as heart failure, occurs when theres a reduction in blood flow throughout the body because blood flow from the heart slows down. That means blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the bodys tissues. That congestion may cause swelling in the ankles, legs, or stomach, as well as fluid in the lungs that causes trouble breathing.
Life expectancy with congestive heart failure varies depending on the severity of the condition, genetics, age, and other factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , around one-half of all people diagnosed with congestive heart failure will survive beyond five years. Only around 10 percent of people diagnosed with the condition survive at least 10 years, according to a study published in August 2013 in the journal Circulation Research.
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What’s The Systolic Heart Failure Life Expectancy
Systolic heart failure is an insufficiency of a heart caused by the malfunction of its left ventricle. This kind of HF is characterized by a low ejection fraction , also taken into account in this heart failure life expectancy calculator.
EF is given in percent, and should be equal to around 50-70%. Mortality increases as the ejection fraction value . The smaller the EF, the shorter the estimated survival.
Unfortunately, plenty of studies proved that the mortality in patients with systolic heart failure and low EF is higher than in those with preserved EF.
For example: 1 year mortality rate for low EF = 26%, and for the high EF = 22%.
What Is Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure describes the inability or failure of the heart to meet the needs of organs and tissues for oxygen and nutrients. This decrease in cardiac output, the amount of blood that the heart pumps, is not adequate to circulate the blood returning to the heart from the body and lungs, causing the fluid to leak from capillary blood vessels. This leads to symptoms that may include shortness of breath, weakness, and swelling.
Understanding blood flow in the heart and body
The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs while the left side pumps blood to the rest of the body. Blood from the body enters the right atrium through the vena cava. It then flows into the right ventricle where it is pumped to the lungs through the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the lungs, oxygen is loaded onto red blood cells and returns to the left atrium of the heart via the pulmonary veins. Blood then flows into the left ventricle where it is pumped to the organs and tissues of the body. Oxygen is downloaded from red blood cells into the various organs while carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism, is added to be removed from the lungs. Blood then returns to the right atrium to start the cycle again. The pulmonary veins are unusual in that they carry oxygenated blood, while the pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood. This is a reversal of duties versus the roles of veins and arteries in the rest of the body.
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Leaking Heart Valves Life Expectancy
- Although a leaky heart valve can have fatal effects, it is usually diagnosed accidentally as it does not have specific signs and symptoms.
- Nearly every person has a small amount of valvular regurgitation which can be effectively managed with the help of suitable diet and exercise
- In some patients, a leaky heart valve remains in the same condition lifelong, not causing any trouble while in some it may develop rapidly leading to heart failure.
Therefore, it can be said that life expectancy with leaking heart valves is quite relative and can vary from person to person.If you are diagnosed with a leaky valve, irrespective of how minor the leak is, it is advisable to keep a regular follow-up with your doctor to be updated about your leaky valve.
How To Use The Congestive Heart Failure Life Expectancy Calculator
To find a person’s survival odds with our heart failure life expectancy calculator, you’ll need the exact values of:
- The age of the patient
- The patient’s weight/height, or BMI
- Their creatinine levels – creatinine is a product of the muscles’ metabolism. It is found at increased levels when the kidneys do not work properly
- Ejection Fraction – the amount of blood that is pushed out of the heart during systole, out of the total amount of blood in the heart and
- Systolic blood pressure – the larger value of the blood pressure measurement made during a routine blood pressure check-up, given in mmHg.
In addition, you need to answer the following questions:
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How Important Is Exercise And Resistance Training For Seniors
Things like exercise and strength training will help prevent heart failure. People can get in shape no matter how old they are. Its a matter of going out there every day, and stretching so the muscles and joints are loose and flexible. No matter how old a person is, they can build muscle. Thats important, because after age 55, a person begins to lose muscle mass. So its important for older people to lift weights, exercise and keep their aerobic capacity up.
Im Concerned About My Health
You should dial 999 if you have possible heart attack symptoms or severe difficulty breathing, such as gasping for breath, choking, lips turning blue, or not being able to get words out.
If you feel like youre struggling to manage your condition at home, contact your doctor or NHS 111.
Dont delay because you think hospitals are too busy the NHS has systems in place to treat people who need urgent heart treatment. If you delay, you’re more likely to suffer serious heart damage, intensive care and spend longer in hospital.
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Overweight And Obesity Are Key Players In Heart Attacks
Being overweight has a significant influence on your risk of having a heart attack for several reasons. For starters, carrying extra weight places a high demand on your heart. Obesity alone makes you more likely to have a heart attack even if youre otherwise healthy.
However, patients who are overweight and obese often have other health conditions that detract from their heart health, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Diabetes Is A Key Risk Factor For An Early Heart Attack
If you have diabetes, youre 2-4 times more likely to die from heart disease compared with adults who dont have diabetes. The problem develops when your blood sugar isnt controlled well enough to keep it within a healthy range. High blood sugar damages your blood vessels, which increases the chance of fats building up in your arteries and causing atherosclerosis.
Patients with diabetes are also more likely to have other chronic health diseases that significantly increase the risk of a heart attack, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
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I Was Doing My Best To Navigate The Realities Of The Pandemic And What It Meant For My Business Along With The Challenge Of My Husband And I Homeschooling Our 6
My busy daily routine began impacting my business in big ways. I no longer had the time to devote to client work and was struggling with deadlines that under normal circumstances had never been a problem. I also had no idea where I was going to find the time to teach my son.
In talking to peers and clients, it seemed like everyone was suffering from the same low level anxiety and exhaustion that I had. It wasn’t as if I was alone and unique in the physical and mental toll of juggling all the balls, so I pushed my health to the side.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure
Shortness of breath
The hallmark and most common symptom of left heart failure is shortness of breath and may occur:
Right heart failure, left heart failure, or both
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When Should I Ask For Help
If you feel you need more support to support the patient, speak to their GP, cardiology team or specialist team.
Some parts of the country have specialist heart failure nurses who can be involved in a persons end of life care, so you may want to see if there is one covering your locality. They can visit people at home, in hospital or a hospice and give the person and their family support and guidance.
If the persons heart failure is due to an inherited heart condition such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, their family may have concerns about what the future holds for themselves. Give the family an opportunity to voice their worries and, if its appropriate, mention the possibility of referring immediate family members to a clinic which specialises in inherited heart conditions. This may be done when the person was initially diagnosed.
Inherited heart conditions services offer specialist assessment and investigations, genetic counselling and testing. GPs can refer to this service. Additionally signpost your patient to the British Heart Foundation Genetic Information Service , which offers information and support and helps with referrals.
Left Ventricular Assist Devices
These may be implanted in the chest to increase heart pumping action. Until recently, LVADs required that the patient be hooked up to a large, hospital-based console while awaiting a transplant. Miniaturized battery-powered LVAD units, however, are allowing many patients to leave the hospital. The devices may be used as a primary treatment or as a bridge to heart transplant in adults.
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Can Loneliness Impact Heart Disease
Yes. Loneliness can accelerate chronic illnesses and have a negative impact on the heart, and even lead to heart disease, which is a precursor to heart failure. Loneliness can lead people to not eat or take care of themselves. Its also important to have companionship for both emotional and safety reasons. To avoid isolation, older adults can use support groups to help them socialize. During COVID-19, they have to do this cautiously, with masks and social distancing, or via video. Connecting with others helps alleviate depression, sleep disturbances and feeling no pleasure in life.
Symptoms Of Heart Failure
The main symptoms of heart failure are:
- breathlessness after activity or at rest
- feeling tired most of the time and finding exercise exhausting
- feeling lightheaded or fainting
- swollen ankles and legs
Some people also experience other symptoms, such as a persistent cough, a fast heart rate and dizziness.
Symptoms can develop quickly or gradually over weeks or months .
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Treating The Underlying Causes
A number of conditions can contribute to heart failure. Treatment of these other factors may range from surgery or angioplasty to open clogged blood vessels in patients with coronary artery disease to medications prescribed to control high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia or thyroid disease. In addition, it’s particularly important to treat abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias in patients with heart failure.
Living With Congestive Heart Failure: What To Expect
Yes, there are several lifestyle changes you should take into account if youve been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. But remember your diagnosis doesnt mean you should necessarily stop doing things you love.
You are supposed to be exercising walking, biking, swimming, or doing light weight exercises, says Mountis. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week for optimal heart health. Avoid exercises that make you feel breathless, and make sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Your healthcare provider will also likely suggest dietary changes that can help reduce the swelling associated with congestive heart failure and slow the progression of the condition. Those changes may include following a low- or reduced-salt diet, or reducing how much fluid you drink to lessen the bodys water content.
Other lifestyle changes that can slow the progression of heart failure include:
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Congestive Heart Failure Isnt Just An Old Person Disease It Strikes Young Adultsand For Specific Reasons
The reasons differ from those for elderly people.
What Is Congestive Heart Failure?
Failure of the heart to adequately pump blood throughout the body. This failure can be systolic or diastolic.
Systolic: The heart doesnt pump or squeeze hard enough with each beat, and hence, an insufficient amount of blood gets pumped with each beat.
However, theres a normal supply of blood in the heart ready to be pumped out.
Diastolic: The pumping action is normal, but theres an inadequate supply of blood in the heart to be pumped out. Thus, an insufficient amount of blood gets pumped with each beat.
In elderly people, the two biggest causes of CHF are coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.
Should most younger adults worry about getting congestive heart failure?
If you take good care of your body and have no birth defect with your heart, the answer is NO.
How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your medical history, symptoms and examine you. You may then be sent for tests such as:
- a 24-hour ECG – in some cases, you may need this test which records the rhythm, rate and electrical activity of your heart over a longer period
- a chest x-ray to check if there’s fluid in your lungs or if a lung condition is causing the symptoms
- an echocardiogram an ultrasound of your heart to see how its working
- blood tests to check your overall health and for signs of a problem with your heart
- breathing tests to see if a lung problem is causing your breathlessness.
Your doctor may talk about the ejection fraction of your heart. This is to do with the amount of blood squeezed out of the main chamber of the heart with every beat. Its usually measured as a percentage over 50% is considered normal. Your ejection fraction is measured from an echocardiogram.Heart Failure can be classed into different groups depending on your ejection fraction. Depending on the percentage measured, and other tests, your heart failure may be classed as the following:
- heart failure with preserved ejection fraction – > 50%)
- heart failure with mildly reduced ejection fraction
- heart failure with reduced ejection fraction
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