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Understanding and Managing Chronic Heart Failure

Understanding and Managing CHRONIC HEART FAILURE Causes of Chronic Heart Failure A number of conditions can damage or weaken the heart to such an extent that they can cause chronic heart failure. In some cases you’ll know something has happened, but that’s not always the case. These include: 4 • Coronary artery disease. This condition is the most common form of heart disease and the most common cause of heart failure. Coronary artery disease is caused by the gradual buildup of deposits (called plaque) on the inside walls of your arteries, which is a process called atherosclerosis. This process slows down the movement of blood through your arteries, which in turn can cause some areas of your heart muscle to become weak because they’re deprived of blood. Left untreated, this buildup of plaque in your coronary arteries can rupture, which then causes a blood clot to form and block blood flow to the heart muscle. This is called a heart attack. A heart attack can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle. PLAY VIDEO Coronary Artery Disease Coronary Artery Disease video • Hypertension (high blood pressure). When your heart has to work harder to circulate blood through your arteries, it can place too much pressure on the artery walls. This is called hypertension, or high blood pressure. Left uncontrolled, hypertension can cause your heart muscle to stiffen over time, which eventually weakens the heart muscle.


Understanding and Managing Chronic Heart Failure
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