Afib Prognosis: Factors That Matter
Many things affect your AFib prognosis, including your age, health, and what medicines you take.
Your age. The risk for AFib rises as you get older. People over 65 are more likely to have other health problems that weaken their heart.
Your sex. Women get AFib less often than men, but they’re at higher risk for complications like heart attack and stroke from it.
The type of AFib you have. Doctors group AFib into types based on how often symptoms strike.
- Paroxysmal AFib is episodes of symptoms that come and go and often get better without treatment.
- Persistent AFib is a constant abnormal heart rhythm that doesn’t improve until you treat it.
- Permanent AFib is an abnormal heart rhythm that doesn’t go away.
Persistent and permanent AFib are more likely to cause complications than paroxysmal AFib.
Your CRP level. C-reactive protein is a sign of inflammation in your body. A high CRP level can also increase your risk for a heart attack, stroke, and early death. Your doctor can check your CRP level with a blood test.
Whether you smoke. Smoking narrows blood vessels and makes your heart work harder.
Facts About Heart Failure In The United States
- About;6.2 million adults in the United States have heart failure.1
- In 2018, heart failure was mentioned on 379,800 death certificates .1
- Heart failure costs the nation an estimated;$30.7 billion in 2012.2;This total includes the cost of health care services, medicines to treat heart failure, and missed days of work.
Congestive Heart Failure: Prevention Treatment And Research
Congestive heart failure is a serious condition in which the heart doesnt pump blood as efficiently as it should. Despite its name,;heart failure;doesnt mean that the heart has literally failed or is about to stop working. Rather, it means that the heart muscle has become less able to contract over time or has a mechanical problem that limits its ability to fill with blood. As a result, it cant keep up with the bodys demand, and blood returns to the heart faster than it can be pumped outit becomes congested, or backed up. This pumping problem means that not enough oxygen-rich blood can get to the bodys other organs.
The body tries to compensate in different ways. The heart beats faster to take less time for refilling after it contractsbut over the long run, less blood circulates, and the extra effort can cause heart palpitations. The heart also enlarges a bit to make room for the blood. The lungs fill with fluid, causing shortness of breath. The kidneys, when they dont receive enough blood, begin to retain water and sodium, which can lead to kidney failure. With or without treatment, heart failure is often and typically progressive, meaning it gradually gets worse.
More than 5 million people in the United States have congestive heart failure. Its the most common diagnosis in hospitalized patients over age 65. One in nine deaths has heart failure as a contributing cause.
Read Also: What Is Target Heart Rate
Tips For Managing Congestive Heart Failure End
You may be asking, How can I provide comfort to my loved one as they experience the end-of-life signs of congestive heart failure? Its only natural that you as a loved one and/or caregiver will want to be as helpful as possible, and ensure that your loved one is experiencing as little pain as possible. Heres some ways you can help:
- Communicate with the doctors and healthcare professionals: Your loved one may be too weak, or simply forget, to communicate their symptoms to the doctors and nurses. You can help by sharing this information with them in order to make sure your loved one gets what they need.
- Provide comfort: Sometimes it is just as simple as spending time with your loved one while watching a TV show, or talking about things they love. These conversations can help in alleviating some of their depression and anxiety.
- Help them remember to take their medicine: There will likely be various pills and medications that your loved one needs to take. You can help by assisting your loved one in staying on schedule.
What Determines Life Expectancy
Some things that affect your life expectancy with heart failure are out of your control, such as your age. Others, such as a healthy lifestyle, are not.
Things that may affect life expectancy include:
Ejection fraction. To get a better picture of your heart health, your doctor will check how well an area of your heart called the left ventricle pumps out blood. An echocardiogram is one test thatâs often used. It scans the heart and takes measurements to find out what percentage of your blood is being pumped out with each heartbeat. For instance, an ejection fraction of 55% means that 55% of your blood is being pushed out with each thump. A normal result usually falls between 50% and 70%, according to the American Heart Association.
People with a reduced ejection fraction have one type of the condition. Itâs called heart failure with reduced left ventricular function. With the other type, heart failure with preserved left ventricular function, the percentage isnât below normal. But there are other changes, such as the heart becoming stiffer. âAfter the heart squeezes and pumps blood forward, it has to relax to fill with blood,â Lampert says. âWhen the heart muscle is stiff or unable to relax as blood is trying to rush in and fill it, itâs not very compliant, and so you can get that same results of fluid backing up into the lungs and other parts of the body.â
Staging. There are four stages of heart failure, which indicate how serious your condition may be.
Read Also: What Is A Good Workout Heart Rate
What Will Happen Towards The End
Heart failure usually gets gradually worse over time. It may eventually reach a point where it becomes very severe and its unlikely the person will live much longer.
Palliative care;will usually;begin when heart failure reaches this stage.
This involves treatment to help you feel as comfortable as possible,;as well as;psychological, spiritual and social support for both you and your family.
You can choose whether you want palliative care and where youd like it to be provided.
It;can be provided:
Congestive Heart Failure Prognosis And Progression Stages
The ACC/AHA Guidelines specify four stages of HF, indirectly determining how long can a person live with congestive heart failure, depending on the given phase of the disease.
- General health .
We can slow down the progression of the disease by:
- Maintaining the correct blood pressure; and
- Keeping our heart healthy by meeting certain target heart rates close to our maximum heart rate during exercise and everyday activities.
|Find out your patient’sHEART score for cardiovascular risk.
Don’t Miss: How Can You Tell If You Had A Heart Attack
Diagnosing Heart Failure Before It Shows
If you have no symptoms or signs of heart failure, how can you be diagnosed with heart failure? Some people are at a much higher risk of developing heart failure than others. By diagnosing you with stage A heart failure, your doctor will monitor your heart health closely, and suggest treatments that may ward off heart failure signs for as long as possible. A few examples of people who are at risk of developing heart failure include those who have:
A family history of heart failure
Chronic medical conditions like , , or coronary heart disease
A history of alcohol abuse
Taken medications, like , that could damage heart tissue
About Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure, sometimes called congestive cardiac failure , is a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened and cant pump as well as it usually does. The main pumping chambers of the heart can change size and thickness, and either cant contract or cant relax as well as they should. This triggers fluid retention, particularly in the lungs, legs and abdomen.
The major causes of heart failure include coronary heart disease and heart attack, high blood pressure, damage to the heart muscle , heart valve problems and abnormal heart rhythms. Of these, coronary heart disease and heart attack are the most common causes.
The major factors that contribute to coronary heart disease include:
- reduced emotional and social wellbeing
- physical inactivity.
Heart failure is more common in elderly people. The survival rate for people with this disorder depends on the severity of their condition.
Don’t Miss: Does Ativan Lower Heart Rate
What Can Hospice Do For The Family Of A Person With Heart Disease
Family members may have to make difficult healthcare and financial decisions, act as caregivers and provide emotional support to others. If the decision is made to stop medical support, some families experience strong emotions and feel overwhelmed.
Hospice offers comprehensive services for families of patients with heart disease:
Summary Of How Heart Failure Develops
The heart muscle is weakened by conditions or diseases that damage the heart. The hearts pumping action becomes less efficient. The body tries to compensate for the hearts reduced pumping action by
- Increasing hormonal stimulation
- Pumping faster
- Enlargingthe heart chambers stretch and enlarge and the muscle mass may increase in size.
For a time, these adaptations will help continue normal or near-normal heart functions. But sooner or later, these adjustments can actually make matters worse by putting extra strain on the heart.
Read Also: What Are The Signs Of Heart Failure
What Is Ejection Fraction
Ejection fraction refers to how well your left ventricle pumps blood with each heart beat. Most times, EF refers to the amount of blood being pumped out of the left ventricle each time it contracts. The left ventricle is the hearts main pumping chamber.
Your EF is expressed as a percentage. An EF that is below normal can be a sign of heart failure. If you have heart failure and a lower-than-normal EF , your EF helps your doctor know how severe your condition is.
Managing Congestive Heart Failure: How To Live Longer And Better With Congestive Heart Failure
The term heart failure is something of a misnomer. It makes it sound like the heart has stopped working, but that isnt really the case. What congestive heart failure means is that the heart isnt pumping efficiently enough to keep up with the bodys needs. Heart inefficiency might be a better term. With the proper treatment and lifestyle changes, many people with congestive heart failure can lead active lives for many years.
Read Also: How Does Exercise Affect Heart Rate
Don’t Miss: Is Your Pulse And Heart Rate The Same Thing
Stage D And Reduced E
Patients with Stage D HF-rEF have advanced symptoms that do not get better with treatment. This is the final stage of heart failure.
Stage D treatment
The usual treatment plan for patients with Stage D heart failure includes:
- Treatments listed in Stages A, B and C.
- Evaluation for more advanced treatment options, including:
- Heart transplant.
- Research therapies.
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%.
Heart Failure: Prognosis And Life Expectancy
If you have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, you may have many questions, such as can heart failure be treated, what are the stages of heart failure, and what is the prognosis? The term heart failure can be misleading because when we hear the word failure, we tend to think that something stops working altogether. This isnt the case with heart failure. A diagnosis of heart failure means your heart isnt pumping blood as well as it should be. However, it is a chronic progressive condition that has no cure.
Heart failure is very common, affecting almost 6 million people in the United States. It can occur at any age, even in children, although it tends to affect older people than any other group. There is no cure for heart failure, but treatments can help prolong life and quality of life. Learn more about heart failure survival rates, and what you might do to help improve your odds of living with .
Can You Get Better After A Diagnosis Of Heart Failure
Heart failure is a;chronic, progressive condition, which means it gets worse with time. But even though it doesnt necessarily get better, managing heart failure the right way can help reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition.
I try to get patients to understand that this is not a death sentence, Mountis says.
Depending on the stage and severity of condition, some individuals may need more aggressive treatment, Mountis adds. But it is very possible to live a very good life with a diagnosis of heart failure.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Average Heart Rate Per Minute
The Clues Can Be Subtle: Monty’s Recliner
Monty is 75 years old, and his doctor had noted his heart murmur;several years ago. He recently went to visit his son David for a few days.
- Each night Monty would go to bed in the guest bedroom and the next morning David would find him sleeping in the family room recliner.
- David asked if he was unable to get comfortable in the bed, and Monty replied that he felt unable to get a deep breath when lying down and the recliner seemed to help.
- Monty insists that its not a problem, but David wonders if he should urge him to check in with his health care provider.
Would you recognize this behavior as a possible sign of valve disease progression?
So The Question Then Becomes What Is The Survival Time If You Have An Ejection Fraction Of Over 20 Percent But Under 35
Shutterstock/ Africa Studio
And, as a general rule, without taking into consideration the very small;Niebauer study, how long can a person with an ejection fraction of about 20 percent be expected to survive?
It is difficult to predict survival in patients with very low ejection fractions because comorbid conditions play a major role, begins Waqar Khan, MD, whos been providing state-of-the-art cardiology services to the Houston area for over 20 years, and is author of Be Heart Smart: Understand, Treat, and Prevent Coronary Heart Disease.
However, we can say that patients who have ejection fractions below 35% do not live as long as patients with normal ejection fraction.
Broadly speaking, survival in such patients is less than 50% at about 10 years.
And its much worse in patients who have ongoing coronary heart disease or other comorbid conditions that are not stable.
Such conditions may include uncontrolled diabetes or kidney failure or other medical conditions. Such patients may also be placed on a waiting list for heart bypass.
Dr. Khan discusses options for increasing the survival odds of people with ejection fractions as low as 20%.
Waqar Khan, MD, has a private practice and serves as an affiliate faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.;
You May Like: Does Magnesium Help With Heart Palpitations
An Ejection Fraction Of 20 Percent Is Pretty Bad And If You Know Someone Whose Ef Is This Low Youll Wonder How Much Longer Their Survival Time May Be
Three Year Survival Rate of 20% Ejection Fraction
A report in the International Journal of Cardiology took a look at the survival of congestive heart failure patients with very low left ventricular ejection fraction.
Low LV EF means that the left ventricle does not pump properly, resulting in an inadequate supply of blood for the rest of the body.
The general rule is that a very low EF is a predictor of mortality.
The study by Niebauer et al looked at 99 patients who all had ejection fractions of equal to or less than 20 percent.
74 had ejection fractions of 11 to 20 percent. 25 had EFs of 10 percent or less.
The patients were followed up after three years at which point mortality came in at 74 percent.
However, it was determined that left ventricular ejection fraction was not a predictor of survival rate for these patients.
So what was? Peak VO2 which was measured at the beginning of the study. Peak VO2 turned out to be a strong predictor of mortality.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Failure
There may be times that your symptoms are mild or you may not have any symptoms at all. This doesn’t mean you no longer have heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure can range from mild to severe, and may come and go.
In general, heart failure gets worse over time. As it worsens, you may have more or different signs or symptoms. It is important to let your doctor know if you have new symptoms or if your symptoms get worse.
Don’t Miss: Why Does Heart Rate Increase During Running