Congestive Heart Disease

Topics: Heart, Blood, Blood pressure Pages: 2 (316 words) Published: June 5, 2008
Essay on Congestive Heart Failure

According to a recent study, people over 40 have a 1 in 5 chance of developing Congestive Heart Failure in their lifetime. Nearly 5 million people in the United States—mostly older adults—already have Congestive Heart Failure, and the number of people with Congestive Heart Failure keeps rising. About 550,000 people develop Congestive Heart Failure each year. This is because people are living longer and surviving heart attacks and other medical conditions that put them at risk for Congestive Heart Failure. People who have other types of heart and vessel disease are also at risk for Congestive Heart Failure.

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is an imbalance in pump function in which the heart fails to maintain the circulation of blood adequately. The most severe manifestation of CHF, pulmonary edema, develops when this imbalance causes an increase in lung fluid secondary to leakage from pulmonary capillaries into the alveoli of the lung.

CHF can be categorized as forward or backward ventricular failure. Backward failure is secondary to elevated systemic venous pressure, while left ventricular failure is secondary to reduced forward flow into the aorta and systemic circulation. Furthermore, heart failure can be subdivided into systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Systolic dysfunction is characterized by a dilated left ventricle with impaired contractility, while diastolic dysfunction occurs in a normal or intact left ventricle with impaired ability to relax and receive as well as eject blood. (Cook,1981)

Risk factors for Congestive Heart Failure include
--Previous heart attacks
--Coronary artery disease
--High blood pressure (hypertension)
--Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
--Heart valve disease (especially of the aortic and mitral valves) --Cardio-myopathy (disease of the heart muscle)
--Congenital heart defects (defects you are born with)
--Alcohol and drug abuse

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