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Heart Failure - Causes and Risk Factors

The most common causes of heart failure are:

  • Coronary heart disease and heart attack (which may be “silent”): In coronary heart disease, the arteries supplying blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked. A heart attack happens when blood flow to an area of the heart is completely blocked. The heart muscle suffers damage when its blood supply is reduced or blocked. If the damage affects the heart’s ability to pump blood, heart failure develops.
  • Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscles): It may be caused by coronary artery disease and various other heart problems. It can weaken the heart muscle, leading to heart failure.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension): Hypertension, a common cause, makes the heart work harder to pump blood. When it cannot keep up, heart failure symptoms develop.
  • Other causes: heart valve disease and postchemotherapy complications: Defects of the heart valves, congenital heart diseases, alcoholism, and drug abuse cause damage to the heart that can all lead to heart failure.

Heart failure can be precipitated by several events. The common precipitating factors are:

  • Poor compliance to salt restriction, fluid restriction or medications
  • Heart attack
  • Worsening heart valves condition
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Medical stress from infection, surgery or anemia

Heart Failure - Preparing for surgery

Heart Failure - Post-surgery care

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