5 Risk Factors for Congestive Heart Failure

About 6.2 million people in the United States have heart failure, a condition in which your heart is unable to pump blood properly, which robs your body of much-needed oxygen and nutrients. There are several types of heart failure, including congestive heart failure, but they all share the same outcome and the same risk factors.

Since managing your risks is imperative in warding off cardiovascular disease, the team here at Humble Cardiology Associates, led by Dr. Madaiah Revana, believes it’s important to understand what those risks are.

In the following, we outline five of the more common risk factors when it comes to congestive heart failure to help you take action.

1. High blood pressure

Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, which places them at risk for some very serious heart problems, including heart attack and heart failure. With high blood pressure, the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries is too strong, which can weaken them over time and lead to congestive heart failure.

The good news is that hypertension can be managed by:

By following these guidelines, you can bring your blood pressure numbers down and relieve the stress on your cardiovascular system.

2. Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and also the leading cause of congestive heart failure. This problem stems from blockages or a narrowing in your arteries, which is usually caused by atherosclerosis.

The primary driver of atherosclerosis is the buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits in your blood vessels, so this is the first area to tackle if you want to halt coronary artery disease.

To accomplish this, diet is everything, and it’s best to avoid inflammatory foods which contribute to heart disease. Steer clear of foods that contain trans fats and excessive amounts of saturated fats and sugars. Go for whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, beans, and lean meats.

Exercise can also help ward off coronary artery disease, as can quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake.

3. Valvular disease

Your heart contains a series of valves that control the flow of blood going in and out of your heart. If you have a faulty valve, this can lead to congestive heart failure. 

Bear in mind, a faulty valve can stem from a congenital problem, but valve damage can also occur anytime your heart is working harder than it should, such as with coronary artery disease.

4. Cardiomyopathy

There are a number of forms of cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the heart muscle. If your heart has incurred damage because of an infection, disease, drug use, or certain medications, it can lead to heart failure.

5. Myocarditis

Since COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds, it’s important to understand that viral infections can lead to inflammation in your heart muscle called myocarditis. Depending upon the extent and duration of the inflammation, heart failure can develop.

Managing heart failure

To manage your heart failure, it’s important that you not only mitigate the risk factors we outline above, but that you also have a specialist monitoring your heart health. Our role is to identify the cause of your heart failure so that we can take the steps necessary to improve the function of your heart.

If you have more questions about congestive heart failure, please contact one of our two offices in Houston or Humble, Texas.

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