Suzanne Hughes MSN, RN, Richard P. Lewis MD, MACC, Mandeep R. Mehra MBBS, FACC, Eric L. Michelson MD, FACC, Jacqueline A. Noonan MD, FACC
Heart failure affects approximately 5 million people in the
United States. It can be caused by a number of conditions and treatment
options may vary depending on the cause.
ANNOUNCER: Heart failure affects approximately five million
people in the United States. It can be caused by a number of conditions
and treatment options may vary depending on the cause
MEHRA, MBBS, FACC: The two most common conditions that lead to heart
failure in the United States, and perhaps worldwide, are high blood
pressure and the development of coronary artery disease. Thus almost any
risk factor that is associated with the development of coronary artery
disease will also typically be a risk factor for the development of heart
failure. For example, smoking, poor lifestyle, diabetes, obesity. Even a
family history of heart disease is a very, very important risk marker or a
risk factor for the future development of heart failure.
MICHELSON, MD, FACC: Patients who had previous heart attacks due to
blockage of coronary arteries is another very common reason.
There are a number of other causes, all with relatively small proportions
of patients having those conditions, and many of these we sort of lump
together and call idiopathic, because by the time the patient gets to us,
we're not quite sure which one of these may have been the specific
JACQUELINE A. NOONAN, MD, FACC: It's possible to
develop heart failure from severe anemia, because your heart has to beat
so hard and to try to make up for the low hemoglobin in your blood.
You can have heart failure if you're born with heart
disease. Children with large holes in their heart can develop heart
Then there are things that can happen. You had a normal
heart, but then you got an infection. You got what's called
myocarditis. That could cause heart failure.
You could be born
with a tendency to develop what we call a cardiomyopathy and, again, that
might not show up. Might show up when you're a child, but
sometimes it doesn't show up until you're an adult.
So there are many, many causes of cardiac failure. And
it's important to find out what the cause is because the treatment
may differ, depending on the cause.