Heart failure is not a consequence of old age!
There are numerous causes of heart failure:
- Coronary Artery Disease (Including previous heart attack)
- Long-standing hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
- Myocarditis (Infection/Inflammation in the heart muscle)
- Alcohol abuse
- Drug abuse
Some people are more likely to develop heart failure than others. No one can predict for certain, but there are "risk factors" to be aware of. Some risk factors are within our control; others are not. Being aware of the risk factors and seeing a doctor for early treatment are good strategies for managing heart failure.
As coronary artery disease is the commonest cause of heart failure it is closely associated with the major risk factors for coronary artery disease:
- Hyperlipidaemia - high cholesterol
- Hypertension - high blood pressure
Other causes include:
- Cardiomyopathy - heart muscle disease
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
While any of these factors may potentially increase your risk, you may never develop heart failure.
Only your physician can make a definitive diagnosis using a number of tests to rule out or confirm heart failure. Remember, early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important for the successful treatment of any medical condition. If you believe you are at risk for developing heart failure, consult your doctor.