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How Common is Heart Failure?

How Common is Heart Failure?

In 2018, heart failure was mentioned in more than 13 percent of death certificates in the United States—representing nearly 380,000 individuals. And while heart failure is often linked to certain risk factors, this critical condition is one for all patients to be aware of and take action against.

Symptoms & Causes of Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is weakened and unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. When this occurs, blood often becomes backed up, leading to a build-up of fluid in the lungs. Heart failure can be an ongoing, chronic condition; however, it also may occur suddenly.

Individuals suffering from heart failure could experience the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles or feet
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating

Heart failure can be caused by a number of conditions, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, valve problems and diabetes. Additionally, it can be caused by long-term alcohol or drug abuse.

Finally, while less common, there are cases where a seemingly healthy heart fails to keep up with the demands of the body caused as a result of:

Preventing Heart Failure

To reduce the risk of death from heart failure, individuals must take preventative action relating to their health and lifestyle—beginning with an evaluation of their current conditions and level of risk.

Those with the pre-existing conditions listed above should stay up to date on their regular doctor’s visits to ensure thorough monitoring of their overall health and a consistent treatment program.

Outside of the doctor’s office, patients may be encouraged to make certain lifestyle changes that could drastically reduce the risk of heart failure. These changes could include not smoking, reducing stress, weight loss and healthy eating.

Take Action Against Heart Failure Today

If you are concerned about your risk of heart failure or would like to learn more about this condition, reach out to our team at Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. today. We’re here to keep you informed about your overall health and find the treatment plan you need to maintain a healthy and happy life.