Features September 2007 Issue

Poor Heart Relaxation: Early Warning Sign for Future Problems

Identify diastolic dysfunction early to help protect against heart failure.

Breathe in and you’ll feel your lungs fill up with air. Now, exhale and feel them relax and push the air out. This is a process we’re all familiar with, but whether you realize it or not, your heart is doing something very similar. In order to keep blood circulating throughout your body, your heart must contract (systole), forcing blood out of the ventricles, and then relax (diastole), allowing blood to enter the chambers again.

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