Congestive Heart Failure
By: Ahmed Zanabli, Mamoon Yousaf


Congestive Heart Failure, also known as just Heart Failure, is a very serious heart condition, and it affects 6 million Americans annually. The heart pumps blood at a much slower and weaker pace than is healthy. The pressure inside of the heart naturally increases as a result of which. The heart, in an effort to neutralize this change, stretches to hold more blood, which temporarily deals with the problem. The walls of the heart then start to weaken and blood pumping becomes even more inefficient. Fluid then starts to build up around the body, especially in the extremities, the fluid being mostly salt and water. This causes swelling throughout the body, and explains the "congestive" part of the condition.


Some symptoms include swelling of the extremities, headaches, fluid and water retention, dizziness, fatigue, and irregular heartbeats, that could lead to complications.


Heart failure is often caused by conditions like Coronary Heart Disease, a heart attack, and other conditions like high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, or thyroid disease.


About 5.1 million people have Congestive Heart Disease in the United States, which is equivalent to 1623 people per 100,000 Americans.

How to prevent it?

To prevent congestive heart failure, a person can check their cholesterol and blood pressure to make sure it is not too high. If someone smokes and drinks alcohol, then that person should make an effort to quit. Also if one has diabetes, they should keep it under control.

Diagnostic Tests

A doctor will first get detailed medical about the person, then will check for risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. After that, the doctor will listen to the person's lungs to check for congestion and will also check neck veins to see if there is fluid build up in the abdomen or legs. It is also possible for one to take a blood test and get x-rays taken of the chest.

Risk Factors or Complications

Risk Factors include having diabetes, a past heart attack, tobacco and alcohol use, being obese, having sleep apnea, irregular heart beats, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Complications include having kidney failure or damage, liver damage, heart valve problems, and heart rhythm problems

Current Treatment Options

There are three types of options for treatment, getting surgery, taking medication, or getting a device that helps the heart. There can also be a combination of the three. The surgeries that a person can get are Coronary Bypass Surgery, Heart Valve Repair/Replacement, and a Heart Transplant. The different type of pills are ACE inhibitors, beta blockers,  Digoxin, and Angiotensin II receptor blockers. The different types of devices are Heart pumps, ICD's, and Cardiac resynchronization therapy.

Above is a heart before and after a Coronary bypass surgery


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3. "Congestive Heart Failure Causes, Symptoms, Treatment - Congestive Heart Failure Prevention and Prognosis - EMedicineHealth." EMedicineHealth. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.

4. "Heart Failure." Tests and Diagnosis. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.

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