Congestive Heart Failure (cont.)
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What Are the Stages of Congestive Heart Failure?
Once a diagnosis of heart failure is established, evaluation of heart failure is important. Providing a complete and accurate history of symptoms is essential. Two major groups have established various stages of congestive heart failure.
The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association stages patients according to the progression of their heart failure. The stages are as follows:
The New York Heart Association classifies patients based on their physical limitations. Classifications are as follows:
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Based on a clinical study, it was determined that one in every five people will develop heart failure in his or her lifetime. Some of the most common risk factors for heart failure include:
When to Contact a Doctor or Health Care Professional If You Think You Have This Condition
Often cardiologists, who specialize in heart failure, can work together with primary care doctors and other health care providers to diagnose and treat congestive heart failure. Certain symptoms need to be checked by a doctor. If a person has any of the symptoms listed below, they should call their health care provider for an appointment. If symptoms listed below are severe or of sudden onset, seek immediate emergency care.
Other, more subtle symptoms of heart failure that are also seen in other diseases warrant a visit to a health care provider, especially if linked to any of the symptoms already listed above. These include:
Always take chest pain seriously. Congestive heart failure, per se, usually does not cause chest pain. However, remember other serious conditions that cause chest pain, such as angina and myocardial infarction, can coexist with heart failure.
If these symptoms develop quickly or worsen rapidly, seek emergency treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/20/2017
Terrence X O'Brien, MD, FACC
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Heart failure is the pathophysiologic state in which the heart, via an abnormality of cardiac function (detectable or not), fails to pump blood at a rate commensurate with the requirements of the metabolizing tissues and/or pumps only from an abnormally elevated diastolic filling pressure.