Doctor's Notes on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart is no longer able to pump blood sufficiently to meet all the body’s needs for oxygen. The inability of the heart to pump sufficiently ultimately causes fluid (mainly water) to leak from capillary blood vessels, causing many of the characteristic symptoms. Any disease that can weaken the heart can cause congestive heart failure. Some of the more common causes are
- coronary artery disease,
- high blood pressure (hypertension),
- problems with the heart valves, and
- chronic alcohol abuse.
Symptoms of congestive heart failure include
- swelling or edema,
- typically in the legs,
- ankles, and
Fluid buildup in the lungs is known as pulmonary edema, which leads to shortness of breath. Other associated symptoms include fatigue, increased urination, decreased appetite, and problems sleeping when reclining.
Heart Disease : Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease.See Answer
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.