congestive heart failure Essay

2123 Words Apr 19th, 2015 9 Pages
Congestive Heart Failure
Olasumbo Dada
Liberty University

The prevalence of congestive heart failure is on the increase both in the United States and all over the world, and it is the leading cause of hospitalization in the elderly population. Congestive heart failure is a progressive disease generally seen in the elderly, which if not properly managed, can lead to repeated hospital admissions or death. Heart failure means that the heart muscle is weakened. A weakened heart muscle may not be strong enough to pump an adequate amount of blood out of its chambers. To compensate for its diminished pumping capacity, the heart may enlarge. Commonly, the heart's pumping inefficiency causes a buildup of blood in the
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Sluggish blood flow also deprives organs of oxygen and other nutrients causing fatigue and difficultly with physical exertion. The heart tries to compensate for its lack of pumping ability by becoming hypertrophic. This causes the muscle in the heart's wall to thicken thus improving the pumping ability of the heart (Haydock & Cowie, 2010). The heart may also increase heart rate to improve output and circulation. The kidneys eventually join in by retaining salt and water to increase volume, but this extra fluid can cause edema and further complicate the situation. (Haydock & Cowie,2010). Despite varying etiologies, there are molecular and biochemical features that contribute to heart failure (Keys & Kotch, 2004). Activation of the sympathetic nervous system causes enhancement of the adrenergic system, which in effect, contributes to loss of cardiac function. Enhancement of adrenergic functions can lead to hypertension in susceptible individuals, and in effect, contributes to heart failure (Keys & Kotch, 2004).
Causes. Causes of congestive heart failure could be coronary artery disease (CAD), which is when the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen and blood become blocked or narrowed. Other causes include previous heart attack due to the tissue scarring, or cardiomyopathy which is damage to the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy is caused by problems other than decreased blood flow. The causes include infections, alcohol, or drug use. Other factors that can contribute

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