Why the Heart Fails

by Ng Peng Hock - Date: 2006-12-26 - Word Count: 327 Share This!

Heart fails when the heart is unable to pump blood effectively. So, why does this happen? Now, let us look at the various causes of heart failure.

The major causes of heart failure, according to cardiologist, are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, and valvular heart disease.

Coronary artery disease is a major heart attack which often causes impaired functioning of the heart muscles. The heart becomes weaker, resulting in heart failure. In some patients, the heart muscles are not permanently scarred and can still be salvaged by balloon angioplasty or bypass surgery. Others may continue to suffer progressive loss of heart muscles, ending in "end stage heart failure".

Enlargement of the heart and ultimate heart failure may result because of untreated long-standing high blood pressure.

Cardiomyopathy is a state where the heart muscle becomes progressively weaker so that it is unable to pump blood properly. In the majority of these patients, the cause is either not clear or unknown and hence, their condition is called "idiopathic cardiomyopathy". In some patients, cardiomyopathy can result from viral infection affecting the heart, known as "viral myocarditis". Most patients can recover from it, but some do suffer permanent damage to heart muscle resulting in heart failure.

Rheumatic heart disease is a major cause of valvular heart disease. Fortunately, rheumatic heart disease is rarely seen nowadays in most countries with improving social economic conditions. Degenerative heart valve disease is more common. It results in the failure of heart valves to function properly, leading to enlargement of the heart and progressive heart failure. If these patients undergo surgical treatment to repair or replace their damaged heart valves, they may recover.

Is there any treatment for heart disease? If you ask your cardiologist, he or she will probably tell you this: prevention is the best form of treatment for heart disease. The control of risk factors for heart disease, however, can also apply to some causes of heart failure, such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.

Related Tags: high blood pressure, heart disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy

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