Heart Failure

Heart Failure in Women: Prevention is Best Approach

Heart failure (HF) occurs when the heart no longer pumps effectively, causing fluid to back up in the lungs, legs, liver or other organs. Although half of all patients with HF are female, not enough is known about the disease in women, which raises questions on the best way to treat it. …

Aerobic Exercise Helps Heart Failure Patients

The words "heart failure" may sound ominous, but its a common condition that is often managed successfully with medications and healthy lifestyle choices. About five million Americans live with heart failure (HF), according to the American Heart Association. One of the activities most beneficial to patients with stable HF is aerobic exercise, according to a review of 14 studies published in the June 19 Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Reviewers found that several indicators of heart function improved [IMGCAP(1)]with aerobic exercise. However, even if your HF is stable, its essential to adhere to specific exercise recommendations to prevent further damage to your heart.

Four New Therapies Offer Hope to Patients with Congestive Heart Failure

Many heart failure patients retain excess water that can pool in their lungs, making it hard to breathe despite the best drugs available today. This is the congestion in "congestive heart failure." Fluid-reducing diuretics are the primary treatment for congestion. But diuretics prevent the kidneys from retaining salt, and indirectly eliminate their ability to retain water, so the drugs often do an imperfect job. When this happens, powerful intravenous diuretics are needed. But the kidneys cant tolerate a lot of diuretics, and kidney function worsens.

Alleviating the Discomfort of Edema

Swelling in the legs and ankles is fairly common among older adults, but it also may be a sign of a more serious condition. "Swelling, in general, is abnormal," says Dr. Wilson Tang, a heart failure specialist in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. In fact, swelling, also referred to as "edema," could be a symptom of heart failure.

ACE Inhibitors: Who needs Them?

If you have heart failure, your body may mistake poor blood circulation for dehydration and signal your kidneys to retain salt and water. If this happens, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor may be used to prevent the hormone angiotensin from constricting blood vessels and raising your blood pressure.

Cardiologists Weigh In on the Trans Fats Controversy

While some restaurant owners in New York City threatened to fight any ban on trans fats, Cleveland Clinic cardiologists took stands on the pros and cons of laws to protect your heart.

Ask the Doctors: 04/05

Cardiac resynchronization therapy, skipped heart beats, and a daily dose of warfarin