Heart failure occurs when the heart’s ventricles become weak, stiff, stretched, or damaged, resulting in an inability to adequately pump blood throughout the body. This stiffening or weakening may be caused by a variety of factors.
The condition may involve the left ventricle, right ventricle, or both, although it generally begins on the left side of the heart. Heart failure may also cause fluid to back up in the lungs or abdomen.
What Can Cause Heart Failure?
Things that may cause heart failure include medications, lifestyle, and other medical conditions. While some loss of heart function is expected due to age, these additional health conditions, stress, and lifestyle factors may increase the risk of heart failure at any age.
Some type-2 diabetes medications may contribute to a patient’s risk. According to a safety warning released by the FDA in 2016, type-2 diabetes drug Onglyza may cause patients to be at a higher risk of developing heart failure.
Due to the link between Onglyza and heart failure, the drug will be required to include a heart failure warning on the label. Other type-2 diabetes drugs may also lead to heart failure. The FDA has recommended that patients with a history of heart problems talk to their doctors about finding a different type-2 diabetes medication. Other medications that may increase the risk of heart failure include NSAIDs, anesthesia medications, and anti-arrhythmic drugs.
Lifestyle factors that may contribute to the risk of heart failure include smoking, eating foods with lots of fat or cholesterol, being physically inactive, obesity or being overweight, and excessive stress. The presence of heart-related birth defects, including abnormal heart valves, may also increase the risk of heart failure.
Medical conditions that may cause heart failure include coronary artery disease, caused by cholesterol and fatty deposits in the arteries that restrict blood flow and may cause high blood pressure.
High blood pressure causes the heart to pump harder than normal in order to circulate the blood. This extra stress on the heart can weaken the muscle. Previous heart attacks also increase the risk of heart failure, due to damaged heart tissue caused by the heart attacks. Cardiomyopathy, lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and severe anemia may also lead to heart failure.
What are the Symptoms of Heart Failure?
Patients with additional risk factors may want to be aware of the possible symptoms of heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in the lower extremities
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Persistent cough with bloody phlegm or foam
- Abdominal swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pain
- Sudden unexplained weight gain
Victims who have experienced heart failure due to medications including Onglyza may be able to hire an attorney and pursue compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages and costs associated with their injuries.
What Types of Heart Failure Are There?
Medical News Today reports there are four types of heart failure, including:
Systolic heart failure occurs when the heart muscle has become weakened or enlarged, and the heart cannot efficiently pump when it fills with blood. One of the warning signs is swelling the legs, ankles or feet.
Diastolic heart failure is a condition marked by the heart becoming too stiff to fill with an adequate amount of blood, which means there’s less blood to supply to all the blood vessels and organs in the body.
Left-sided heart failure causes shortness of breath and a buildup of fluid around the heart because the left side of the heart that is supposed to pump blood to the rest of body has weakened. Blood may go into the lungs because the heart is not able to pump the blood with enough strength to move it properly. Left-sided heart failure is the most common type of heart failure.
Right-sided heart failure may occur as a result of the fluid collection in the lungs caused by left-sided heart failure because the right side of the heart is responsible for sending our blood to the lungs to obtain oxygen.
What Tests May I Need to Diagnose Heart Failure?
A doctor will often use blood and urine tests to see if your blood count is normal and to determine if your system has the chemical warning signs of heart failure. A chest x-ray will allow the doctor to see if your heart is enlarged and whether there is fluid build-up in your lungs. An electrocardiogram will indicate the electrical activity in the heart and detect any abnormal rhythm.
Is Heart Failure Common?
Time reports that heart failure and heart-related deaths are increasing. This may be linked to the fact that the population is aging as the large Baby Boomer generation advances into retirement, says Time, reporting on a new study from JAMA Cardiology. Reportedly, the population above age 65 grew almost 23 percent from 2011 to 2017. In contrast, the population under age 65 grew by only 2 percent.
JAMA Cardiology says the increase in heart failure also may be linked to high ratios of obesity and diabetes, Time reports. Heart disease has long been the leading cause of deaths among Americans. Now, it has reportedly taken its toll on younger Americans as well as older ones — perhaps linked to obesity and type-2 diabetes.
Time goes on to explain that this recent uptick in heart failure is dismaying because over the last few years, deaths from heart failure were decreasing steadily. However, between 2015 and 2016, heart disease deaths rose from 836,546 to 840,678. Taking a broader look at the statistics, Time says that the number of heart-related deaths rose by 8.5 percent between 2011 and 2017.
This increase poses not only a risk for individuals, but for American society as a whole by posing a serious strain on the U.S. health care system. The problem may require an increase in treatment programs, heart disease prevention, and other systemic resources. The aging population is already putting pressure on the health system, says Time, and heart disease in particular.
Free Onglyza Lawsuit or Kombiglyze Lawsuit Review
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