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Five Things That Cardiologists Want You to Know About Heart Failure


Did you know roughly 309,000 deaths annually are caused by heart failure in the U.S.? Not only that, nearly 960,000 new heart failure cases are diagnosed each year.

Heart failure happens when a person’s heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body. Unlike a heart attack, which typically happens suddenly, heart failure is gradual and shows signs over time.

“At Lehigh Valley Heart Institute, patients are given more treatment options from the region’s largest team of board-certified advanced heart failure cardiologists,” says Ronald Freudenberger, MD, Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Heart Institute. “That means when you need us, Lehigh Valley Heart Institute is your best option for heart care.”

Here are five important facts about heart failure:

1. Heart failure is complex

When heart failure happens, your heart is progressively getting weaker and may enlarge. The heart can’t pump properly, so your organs don’t receive the necessary amount of blood and oxygen. It is possible to develop heart failure after a heart attack – which are two completely different conditions of the heart – but that’s not always the case. There are certain risk factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure that may increase your risk of heart failure.

2. Heart failure is common

More than 6 million people in the U.S. suffer from this condition, and that number is expected to increase to more than 8 million by the year 2030.

3. Symptoms can seem unimportant, but they’re not

The most common symptoms of heart failure are shortness of breath and swelling in legs, feet and ankles, as well as fatigue. Many people attribute these symptoms to other causes, such as aging, which often makes heart disease difficult to diagnose until it’s too late for any significant treatment.

4. Hospitalization for heart failure is a warning sign

Because heart failure is so complex and a progressive condition, the need for hospitalization means things are worsening quickly and therapy must begin immediately.

5. Heart failure needs specialized care

It is crucial that all health conditions be considered when treating heart failure, especially with lifestyle and other health conditions in mind.

Visit, LVHN.org/heartfailure to learn more about signs and symptoms. If you have concerns about your heart health schedule an appointment with an LVHN cardiologist by calling 888-402-LVHN.