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About Mercy

What is Heart Failure

Heart failure simply means that your heart’s pumping action is weaker than normal and cannot meet your body’s need for blood flow. Heart failure can occur when the heart’s pumping action is normal, but the heart muscle is stiff and will not relax. This interferes with the heart’s ability to fill with blood and meet the body’s blood flow needs. Weakened heart muscle can also affect other parts of the body, including the kidneys.

Common causes of heart failure

  • coronary artery disease (blockage of blood vessels in the heart; usually from a previous heart attack)
  • heart muscle disorder
  • cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle)
  • heart valve disease
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation)
  • virus
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • diabetes
  • sleep apnea
  • obesity

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