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.
Stages C And D With Preserved Ef
Treatment for patients with Stage C and Stage D heart failure and reserved EF includes:
- Treatments listed in Stages A and B.
- Medications for the treatment of medical conditions that can cause heart failure or make the condition worse, such as atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease, chronic lung disease, high cholesterol and kidney disease.
- Diuretic to reduce or relieve symptoms.
YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR TREATMENT PLAN!
It is up to you to take steps to improve your heart health. Take your medications as instructed, follow a low-sodium diet, stay active or become physically active, take notice of sudden changes in your weight, live a healthy lifestyle, keep your follow-up appointments, and track your symptoms. Talk to your healthcare team about questions or concerns you have about your medications, lifestyle changes or any other part of your treatment plan.
When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to;your nearest A&E department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms.
What Are The Main Causes Of Heart Failure
Heart failure can have many causes. The most common;causes are:
- Coronary heart disease;;this is where the arteries that supply blood to the heart become clogged up with fatty substances called atherosclerosis which may cause symptoms of chest discomfort called angina or heart damage from a heart attack.
- Hypertension; high blood pressure can put extra strain on the heart, which over time can lead to heart failure.
- Cardiomyopathy; conditions affecting the heart muscle and can be hereditary or acquired condition that causes the changes in the heart muscle tissue leading to failure of function.
- Arrhythmias; heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation which impairs the contraction strength of the heart by the persistent fast heart rate is one of the many rhythm disturbances causing the heart to pump less efficiently.
- Heart valve disease; valve;defects and damage will increase volume and strain on the heart and weaken it.
- Congenital heart disease; birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart.
- Metabolic; hyperthyroid;with overactive thyroid and diabetes are endocrine causes of heart failure.
- Toxicity; alcohol and certain chemotherapy drugs can be toxic to the muscle cells and damage their function.
How Long Will I Live With Heart Failure
The congestive heart failure lifespan depends on many variables, such as the cause of heart failure, its severity, and other comorbidities.The survival rates for those affected in the general population are:
- 1-year: 81.3%;
- 5-years: 51.5%; and
- 10-years: 29.5%.
There are 6 million people alive in the US that suffer from this disease, and almost 1 million in the UK. The data shown above tells us that only a half of these people will survive the next 5 years.
A heart transplant, being the ultimate treatment for such a disease, prolongs the estimated survival. 20 years after a transplant, around 21% of patients are still alive.
There’s a special tool for assessing the mortality rate of heart failure patients admitted to the ICU.
Read Also: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
What Is Heart Failure
The term “heart failure” can be frightening. It doesn’t mean the heart has “failed” or stopped working. It means the heart doesn’t pump as well as it should.
Heart failure is a major health problem in the United States, affecting about 5.7 million Americans. About 550,000 new cases of heart failure occur each year. It’s the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65.
If you have heart failure, you’ll enjoy better health and quality of life if you take care of yourself and keep yourself in balance. It’s important to learn about heart failure, how to keep in good balance, and when to call the doctor.
Surgical Options To Treat Underlying Causes Of Heart Failure
- Coronary artery bypass graft or angioplasty to prevent and treat heart failure caused by blocked arteries. During bypass surgery, blood vessels taken from another part of the body usually the leg are used to link the open parts of a blocked artery around the blockage. In angioplasty, a thin flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through a small incision in the groin or neck into a blood vessel. In one procedure, a balloon is introduced through the catheter into the center of a blocked blood vessel. When the balloon is inflated, the blockage material is compressed back against the walls of the artery. A small metal device, called a stent, may be inserted through the catheter to serve as a permanent barrier to keep the plaque compressed. In another type of procedure, instruments are introduced through the catheter to remove the plaque.
- Implantation of pacemakers and other devices such as artificial heart valves
- Repairing congenital heart defects
Surgical treatments for heart failure itself include:
Don’t Miss: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
Heart Failure Patients Too Optimistic
Study Shows Patients Overestimate Their Life Expectancy
A new study shows nearly two-thirds of people with congestive heart failure overestimate their remaining life expectancy by an average of 40% compared with what’s realistic based on their prognosis.
Heart failure, which occurs when the heart is too weak to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, causes 55,000 deaths each year and indirectly contributes to 230,000 more deaths annually in the U.S.
Although there have been recent improvements in congestive heart failure treatment, researchers say the prognosis for people with the disease is still bleak, with about 50% having an average life expectancy of less than five years. For those with advanced forms of heart failure, nearly 90% die within one year.
“Patient perception of prognosis is important because it fundamentally influences medical decision making regarding medications, devices, transplantation, and end-of-life care,” write researcher Larry A. Allen, MD, MHS, of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and colleagues in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Initial Stages Of Chf
In the initial, mild stage A, there are underlying high-risk factors for CHF such as smoking or high blood pressure. However, the affected person has no symptoms or limitations at rest or with physical activity and there are no signs of CHF on evaluation by a doctor.
In stage B, the person develops mild symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations with routine physical activity. There are minor signs of heart dysfunction on a doctor’s evaluation. There might also be a mild, intermittent collection of fluid, known as edema, in the ankles and feet.
Read Also: Acid Reflux Cause Palpitations
Systolic Vs Diastolic Heart Failure
Diastolic Heart Failure
Diastolic heart failure occurs when your left ventricle can no longer rest between heartbeats because the tissues have hardened. When your heart cannot completely relax, it will not fill with blood again before the next beat.
Systolic vs Diastolic heart failure the difference is simply the Diastolic heart failure type is also called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction . In this type, your doctor can do an imaging test on your heart and determine if your EF looks fine. Your doctor will then should consider if you either have any other heart failure symptoms and if there is evidence that your heart is not functioning properly. If all those criteria are met, you may be diagnosed with diastolic heart failure.
This kind of heart failure often affects older women. It often accompanies other types of heart disease and other non-heart conditions like cancer and lung disease.
Systolic Heart Failure
Systolic vs Diastolic heart failure the difference is simply the Systolic heart failure occurs when the left ventricle of your heart does not completely contract. This means that your heart will not pump sufficiently to move your blood throughout your body in an efficient manner. It is also called heart failure with low ejection fraction .
Ejection Fraction is a measure of how much blood is released each time the heart ventricle is pumped. The more the heart pumps, the healthier it is.
When To Seek Hospice Care
Even physicians have difficulty determining life expectancy for people with end-stage heart-failure. The condition can be unpredictable, and symptoms can change. However, certain signs can indicate that hospice care would be beneficial, including:
- frequent chest pain
- significant fatigue or shortness of breath
- substantial decline in ability to do daily activities, such as self-care
- The patient has already received the best possible treatment, which are no longer working well, and the patient is not a candidate for other interventions.
- The patient has received the best possible treatment and has decided to decline further specialized interventions.
People can be reluctant to start hospice, as they may worry it means theyre giving up or that it will hasten death. But such concerns are unfounded. In fact, patients and families often wish they had started hospice sooner, because it makes such a positive difference in their lives. And research shows that early admission to hospice results in greater satisfaction with care among patients and family caregivers.
Recommended Reading: Can Too Much Vitamin D Cause Heart Palpitations
What Are The Types Of Heart Failure
There are many causes of heart failure, but the condition is generally broken down into two types:
Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function The lower left chamber of the heart gets bigger and cannot squeeze hard enough to pump the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function The heart contracts and pumps normally, but the bottom chambers of the heart are thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, the ventricles can’t relax properly and fill up all the way. Because there’s less blood in the ventricles, less blood is pumped out to the rest of the body when the heart contracts.
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.
You May Like: How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate
How Much Water Should You Drink With Heart Failure
Heart failure can cause fluid retention.
Those who are diagnosed with heart failure are usually instructed to limit their daily fluid intake to 2,000 to 2,500 milliliters or 2 to 2.5 liters per day. This includes all types of fluid intake, not just water.
However, too little fluid intake can increase dehydration and the risk of problems such as damage to the kidneys.
Your optimal fluid intake goal should be based on multiple factors, such as:
- the type of heart failure you have
- whether you take a diuretic medication
- your kidney function
- your sodium intake
- whether youve been hospitalized in the past for fluid retention
Based on these factors, you and your doctor can decide what your ideal fluid intake should be.
Dr. Kohli is an internationally recognized researcher and noninvasive cardiologist who specializes in preventive cardiology. She received two undergraduate Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and brain and cognitive science with a concentration in economics. She graduated with a perfect GPA, receiving the most outstanding academic record distinction. She went on to Harvard Medical School for her MD degree and again graduated at the top of her class with a magna cum laude distinction. She completed her internal medicine residency at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Womens Hospital in Boston.
What Are The Survival Rates For Heart Failure
Survival rates are based on studies of large groups of people with certain diagnoses and generally presented as a 5-year survival rate, which is the percentage of people who lived for at least 5 years after diagnosis.
You can find online calculators that ask you to submit information to get a life expectancy prediction. However, these calculators are not always accurate since they are based on studies of certain population groups over a period of time .
Table: Survival rates for patients with heart failure
|About 24.5% on average
For example, the 5-year survival rate for patients with heart failure is about 76%. This means that about 76 out of 100 people who were diagnosed with heart failure could live for at least 5 years.
Generally, young patients with heart failure have a better prognosis than older patients. Early diagnosis and treatment help increase life expectancy as well.
You May Like: Can Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
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:
What Is Diastolic Dysfunction And Diastolic Heart Failure
The cardiac cycle is divided into two parts -;systole;and diastole. During systole, the ventricles contract, thus ejecting blood out of the heart and into the arteries. After the ventricles have finished contracting, they relax, and during this relaxation they fill up with blood to prepare for the next systole. This relaxation phase of the cardiac cycle is called;diastole.
Sometimes, as a result of various medical conditions, the ventricles begin to become relatively “stiff.” Stiff ventricles are not able to fully relax during diastole; as a result, the ventricles may not fill completely. As a result of this incomplete filling of the ventricles, the amount of blood pumped with the subsequent heart beat will be slightly reduced. Also, the blood which is returning to the heart can partially “dam up” in the body’s organs, including the lungs. Even more common, however, is swelling in the legs.
The abnormal stiffening of the ventricles and the resulting abnormal ventricular filling during diastole are referred to as;diastolic dysfunction.
Diastolic dysfunction is very mild at first, and usually does not produce symptoms at first. However, diastolic dysfunction tends to progress over time. When the condition becomes is sufficiently advanced to produce pulmonary congestion or swelling in the legs,;diastolic heart failure;is said to be present.
Don’t Miss: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
What Is The Treatment For Mild Congestive Heart Failure
To date, there is a lack of evidence in the management of patients with heart failure with preserved or mid-range ejection fraction. No treatment has yet been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in these patients. The management is usually limited to optimal treatment of comorbidities such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and coronary artery disease.
Elevated blood pressure is an extra load on the heart. In response, the left ventricle becomes thicker and unfortunately stiffer. As the pressure rises in the heart, it also increases in the lungs, making the patient short of breath with minimal activity. There is solid evidence that improving oneâs blood pressure can lead to the regression of LVH. Some medicines such as angiotensin II receptor blockers , calcium channel blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors can lead to regression of hypertrophy and return the heart to a more normal thickness and function.
Coronary artery disease where a blockage in the artery causes significantly decreased blood flow can lead to varying levels of ischemia in the myocardium. Ischemia makes the heart muscle stiff and causes the patient to be short of breath during exercise. Medicines such as nitrates, beta-blockers, calcium antagonists, ranolazine, or interventions to reopen the arteries such as coronary stenting can relieve ischemia and the patientâs symptoms.