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Risk Factors for Heart Failure
- Coronary artery disease: (CAD) Cholesterol and fat can build up in the arteries that supply the heart with blood. This build-up narrows the blood vessels, causing reduced blood flow to the heart muscle.
- High blood pressure: Narrowing and hardening of the arteries reduces systemic blood flow and increases blood pressure.
- Severe lung conditions: Impaired lung function, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), affect the body's ability to exchange oxygen efficiently. This puts extra strain on the heart to deliver blood and oxygen to the lungs. This also includes infections that affect lung function, such as pneumonia.
- Valvular heart disease: The four valves of the heart keep blood flowing efficiently and in the correct direction. Damage or infection affecting the valves may cause leaking between heart chambers which affects heart efficiency.
- Cardiomyopathy: The heart muscle may become damaged due to infection, chronic alcohol abuse, certain chemotherapy drugs, cocaine, or scarring. The damage results in inadequate contraction of the heart muscle.
- Heart arrhythmias: Are abnormal heart rhythms. If the heart beats too slowly it cannot adequately pump blood through the body. If it beats too quickly, it may not allow the heart to fill with the adequate amount of blood the body needs between heart beats.
- Congenital heart defects: Birth defects of the heart muscle or valves.
- Diabetes: People who have diabetes are at increased risk of developing heart disease. They often have other conditions that increase their risk of heart disease, like high cholesterol and increased weight.
- Metabolic syndrome: This condition is marked by elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body weight. Excess weight centered around the midsection is of particular concern.
- Obesity: Extra body weight causes the heart to work harder in order to circulate blood and nutrients throughout the body. Obesity is also linked to other heart-related risk factors, such as high blood pressure and sleep apnea .
- Hyperthyroidism: This condition, caused by an overactive thyroid gland, increases the metabolic rate in the body. The increased levels of thyroid hormone signal the heart to pump faster and harder to supply the body with blood, causing strain.
- Anemia: Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. When the number of red blood cells is reduced, the heart must circulate blood more frequently to supply enough oxygen to the tissues.
- Kidney disorders: Impaired kidney function elevates blood pressure.
- Psychological disorders: It is not known how depression, anxiety, and heart failure are linked, but psychological problems do affect overall mental and physical well being. Fatigue or disinterest can lead you to make poor decisions about your health, such as ignoring treatment plans that reduce your risk of heart diseases.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Long-term use of anabolic steroids
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 09/2017
- Update Date: 01/18/2017