Get the Bare Facts on Heart Failure May 28, 2014

Generally speaking, heart failure occurs when the heart is incapable of pumping enough of the much needed, oxygen rich blood to the rest of your organs. Severe pain, temporary paralysis, damage to several different organs, and death may occur due to heart failure, but not every case is fatal. Some instances of heart failure result in moderate discomfort that passes, with the appropriate treatment, after a short while. As every person’s experience may vary, it is important to have a general understanding of heart failure and how it affects its victims.

  • Approximately 6 million people in the United States have suffered from some version of heart failure, be it mild or severe.
  • The densest collection of reported cases occurs within the Midwestern states, numbering 239 – 720 deaths per 10,000 citizens annually in each of 641 counties.
  • The average life expectancy of a patient that has been diagnosed with heart failure is five years, as has been the case in more than half of all documented victims.
  • One in nine deaths in 2009 occurred due, in some way, to heart failure.

While these numbers may seem alarming, the most important thing to take away is that heart failure presents a serious and continuous risk to the victim’s health. Making better life decisions or improving the quality of one’s life is the best way to start treating heart failure. For example, smoking, fatty foods, and a sedentary lifestyle should be avoided at all costs, as they create the perfect storm for the heart to fail.

The best opportunity one can have in the fight against heart disease is an early diagnosis. If you feel as if you may be at risk or suffer from shortness of breath, troubled breathing while lying down, swelling, or lethargy, consult a doctor immediately. Receiving the right medication and instruction before it’s too late can be the best possible weapons against an early death.

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