Congestive heart failure (CHF)?
What is CHF?
Heart failure affects nearly 6 million Americans. Roughly 670,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year. It is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than age 65.
Heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart's pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body's needs. The chambers of the heart may respond by stretching to hold more blood to pump through the body or by becoming stiff and thickened.
This helps to keep the blood moving, but the heart muscle walls may eventually weaken and become unable to pump as efficiently and the body becomes congested: congestive heart failure is the term used to describe the condition. As shown below, patients with CHF
experience a significant reduction in survival rates after their first diagnosis of AF.
Yoko Miyasaka, Marion E. Barnes, Kent R. Bailey, Stephen S. Cha, Bernard J. Gersh, James B. Seward, Teresa S.M. Tsang, Mortality Trends in Patients Diagnosed With First Atrial Fibrillation: A 21-Year Community-Based Study, In Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 49, Issue 9, 2007, Pages 986-992,