“Having heart failure doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped working, but that your heart needs some support to help it work better”.1

Umbrella
What may the Heart Failure Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Cardiac Failure
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Heart Failure
  • Left Sided Heart Failure
  • Right Sided Heart Failure

Terminology

Can the term heart failure (HF) be misleading?

In What Is Heart Failure? You Don’t Have To Face HF Alone the American Heart Association (AHA) explain:

“The term “heart failure” makes it sound like the heart is no longer working at all and there’s nothing that can be done. Actually, heart failure means that the heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be”.2

Definition

What is heart failure?

DotS the definition of heart failure may vary. The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) definition is:

“Heart failure means that your heart is not pumping blood around your body as effectively as it should. Having heart failure doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped working, but that your heart needs some support to help it work better”.3

The (United States) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) definition is:

“Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems”.4

Cause

What can cause heart failure?

In Heart Failure: What Causes Heart Failure? the BHF explain:

“There are lots of reasons why you may develop heart failure. It can be sudden or it can happen slowly over months or even years. The most common causes are:

  • A heart attack…
  • High blood pressure…
  • Cardiomyopathy…
Heart failure can also be caused by:

  • Damaged or diseased heart valves
  • An abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Congenital heart conditions – heart problems that you’re born with
  • A viral infection affecting the heart muscle
  • Some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Anaemia – a lack of oxygen carrying haemoglobin or red blood cells in your blood
  • Thyroid gland disease”.5

Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of heart failure?

In Heart Failure: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications the NHLBI explain:

“The most common signs and symptoms of heart failure are:

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck”.6

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have heart failure?Heart Failure

If you think you have heart failure, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this as soon as possible.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Heart Failure?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Heart Failure?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Heart Failure. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/heart-failure Accessed: 11 June 2020
  2. What Is Heart Failure? You Don’t Have To Face HF Alone. Last Reviewed: 31 May 2017. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/what-is-heart-failure#.WrrJlzoh2po Accessed: 11 June 2020
  3. Heart Failure. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/heart-failure Accessed: 11 June 2020
  4. Heart Failure: What Is. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-failure Accessed: 11 June 2020
  5. Heart Failure: What Causes Heart Failure? British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/heart-failure Accessed: 11 June 2020
  6. Heart Failure: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-failure Accessed: 11 June 2020
Topic Last Updated: 11 June 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 11 June 2020
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