2 Heart Disease



Life after Heart Failure

Heart failure is one of the most serious symptoms of heart disease. The outlook for an individual patient depends on the patient's age, severity of heart failure, overall health, and a number of other factors.

As heart failure progresses, the effects can become quite severe, and patients often lose the ability to perform even modest physical activity. Eventually, the heart's reduced pumping capacity may interfere with routine functions, and patients may become unable to care for themselves. The loss in functional ability can occur quickly if the heart is further weakened by heart attacks or the worsening of other conditions that affect heart failure, such as diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Heart failure patients also have an increased risk of sudden death, or cardiac arrest, caused by an irregular heartbeat.

To improve the chances of surviving with heart failure, patients must take care of themselves.

Patients must:

  • See their physician regularly;
  • Closely follow all of their physician's instructions;
  • Take any medication according to instructions; and
  • Immediately inform their physician of any significant change in their condition, such as an intensified shortness of breath or swollen feet.

Patients with heart failure also should:

  • Control their weight;
  • Watch what they eat;
  • Not smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products; and
  • Abstain from or strictly limit alcohol consumption.

Even with the best care, heart failure can worsen, but patients who don't take care of themselves are almost writing themselves a prescription for poor health.

Click here for additional heart failure resources

Heart Failure  - Types of Heart Failure - Causes of Heart Failure - Symptoms - How it's Diagnosed Treatments - Common Heart Failure Medications - Life after Heart Failure - Additional Resources






Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  2 Heart Disease

heart failure