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Heart Failure - Causes and Risk Factors

The most common risk factors of heart failure are:
  • Coronary artery disease and heart attack: In coronary artery disease (also known as coronary heart disease), the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle become narrowed or blocked. A heart attack, which may be “silent”, happens when blood flow to an area of the heart is completely blocked causing that part of the heart muscle to die. With the heart muscle function decreasing, the heart is not able to pump blood as effectively, resulting in heart failure. 
  • Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscles): This refers to weakening of the heart muscles. The most common cause of cardiomyopathy is coronary artery disease. Other causes include genetic mutations, heart valve disease chemotherapy agents, excessive alcohol intake, and myocarditis.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension): The heart has to pump harder to circulate blood around the body due to high blood pressure. When it cannot keep up, the heart begins to fail.

Heart failure can be precipitated by several events. The common precipitating factors are:
  • Poor compliance to salt restriction, fluid restriction or medications in pre-existing heart failure patients
  • Heart attack 
  • Worsening heart valves condition
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Medical stress from infection, surgery or anaemia

Heart Failure - Preparing for surgery

Heart Failure - Post-surgery care

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