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An Epidemic Of Heart Failure

Feb 3, 2008
It starts already with the kids. Nowadays obesity is becoming a serious problem with the kids. It has been revealed in the survey that almost 65% of infant population is said to be suffering from obesity and its related diseases. According to the experts obesity is the base which leads to high cholesterol in the higher ages. Lack of proper care and attention over children always leads them to many diseases for which parents can't even repent in the future. It has been noticed that obese or overweight children are more prone to cholesterol and its related diseases. They not only suffer from cholesterol related but also from many heart and cardiovascular diseases.

The following information provided by the National Institutes of Health
Researchers now have what they see as proof of a heart failure epidemic. And they are issuing a call to action for health care systems to meet the need.

An estimated 4.8 million Americans have congestive heart failure (CHF). Increasing prevalence, hospitalizations, and deaths have made CHF a major chronic condition in the United States. It often is the end stage of cardiac disease. Half of the patients diagnosed with CHF will be dead within 5 years. Each year, there are an estimated 400,000 new cases.

CHF is the first-listed diagnosis in 875,000 hospitalizations, and the most common diagnosis in hospital patients age 65 years and older. In that age group, one fifth of all hospitalizations have a primary or secondary diagnosis of heart failure.

Visits to physicians' offices for CHF increased from 1.7 million in 1980 to 2.9 million in 1993. The financial and other losses of caregivers for these patients are large as well.

The magnitude of the problem of CHF is large now, but it is expected to get much worse because:
As more and more cardiac patients are able to survive and live longer with their disease, their opportunity for developing CHF increases.

Future growth in the elderly population will likely result in increasing numbers of persons with this condition regardless of trends in coronary disease morbidity and mortality.
end of information provided by the National Institutes of Health

What is Heart Failure?

Despite the way it sounds, heart failure does not mean that the heart suddenly stopped working or that you are about to die. Rather, heart failure is a common condition that usually develops slowly as the heart muscle weakens and needs to work harder to keep blood flowing through the body.
As more people survive heart attacks but are left with weakened hearts, the United States faces a new and often misunderstood epidemic. The good news is that we now know a great deal more about heart failure and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

Signs and symptioms from "wikipedia" of decompensated heart failure include pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs), ascites (fluid in the abdominal cavity), peripheral edema (fluid build-up in dependent portions of the body). Other physical examination findings include rales heard on chest auscultation, an enlarged or pulsatile liver, and jugular venous distension. Reduced function in other organs can occur because they are not receiving enough blood. The patient may experience other organ conditions years before CHF is diagnosed.

Symptoms of decompensated heart failure include dyspnea (shortness of breath) on exertion, orthopnea (dyspnea that increases upon lying down), fatigue and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea ("cardiac asthma", shortness of breath that occurs hours or minutes after lying down).

Individuals with heart failure are sensitive to small shifts in their intravascular volume status (the amount of fluid in their circulatory system). Increasing the volume in their circulatory system can cause symptoms and signs of decompensated heart failure, while decreasing the volume in the circulatory system can cause hypotension.

Chest X-rays (CXRs) are frequently used to aid in the diagnosis of CHF. Signs of CHF on CXR are[1]:
Vascular redistribution
Peribronchial cuffing/interstitial edema (bat-shaped)
Kerley B lines
Consolidation of lower lung fields
Cardiomegaly

How Can I Prevent Heart Failure From Worsening?

Keep your blood pressure low. In heart failure, the release of hormones causes the blood vessels to constrict or tighten. The heart must work hard to pump blood through the constricted vessels. It is important to keep your blood pressure as low as possible, so that your heart can pump effectively without extra stress.
Monitor your own symptoms. Check for changes in your fluid status by weighing yourself daily and checking for swelling.
Schedule regular doctor appointments. .
More Tips
Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
Reach and maintain your healthy weight.
Control high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes.
Exercise regularly.
Do not drink alcohol.

Check into natural remedies...to take along with your doctor's prescribed medicines and treatments.
Check out Dr. Barry Sears, he has done amazing work with hormones, inflammation, sugar levels
Research the different health diets available.

Learn about your condition. Research what is available to help you control heart failure. Talk to others that are managing their condition successfully...what are they doing?

Learn to help yourself. Be an active partner in your own treatment!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
About the Author
Ruth Bird is married for 27 years to husband Chris, who is battling the monster, MS. People and Pet Health Care are her passions.
http://www.mimfreedom.com/blog,
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