Congestive Heart Failure: Are You at Risk?


Rohinton J. Morris, MD
Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Abington Health

Donald C. Haas, MD
Medical Director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program at Abington Health

Heart failure affects more than five million people nationwide, but the symptoms of this disease can be missed or misdiagnosed. Becoming familiar with the warning signs and risk factors can lead to earlier detection and treatment. You can learn more during Abington Health’s live web chat, “The Newest Treatment Options for Congestive Heart Failure,” on February 20 at noon.

If you or someone you love has experienced diminished appetite, shortness of breath, or swollen feet, you might not immediately recognize those as symptoms of a deadly heart disease. All are, in fact, signs of congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart, through injury or aging, is unable to pump blood the way it should. As the condition progresses, fluid or congestion may build up in the lungs and tissues, leading to some of the above symptoms.

If you have more than one of the conditions or symptoms listed below, you should speak to a healthcare professional about your heart health, even if you don’t have a history of cardiac issues:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Shortness of breath during moderate activities such as walking
  • Trouble breathing when lying down
  • A heavy feeling in the chest
  • Swelling of the lower extremities (legs, ankles, feet, abdomen)
  • General fatigue and/or weakness
  • Sleep apnea

Heart failure does not have to be fatal, and detecting this disease early can improve your chances of a successful outcome.

Learn more about congestive heart failure at the next live Health Chat with Abington Health on Thursday, February 20th at 12 pm: The Newest Treatment Options for Congestive Heart Failure. Sign up now.