Know Your Risk: Are You Among the Five Million Americans Who Have Heart Failure?

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Published on September 17, 2015

Are You Among the Five Million Americans Who Have Heart Failure?

Take this quiz to find out if you are at risk for heart failure. Found out in a matter of minutes! #healthyliving

Every year, 670,000 new heart failure patients are diagnosed in the United States. This common, yet often undiagnosed, condition occurs when a person’s heart muscles weaken. They slowly lose the ability to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. Heart failure causes more hospital stays than all forms of cancer combined.

How Do I Know if I Am At Risk for Heart Failure?

Even one risk factor can result in heart failure. Having many risk factors only increases your chance. Risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Damage to the heart valves or history of a heart murmur
  • Enlarged heart
  • Family history of enlarged heart
  • Diabetes
  • Lung disease
  • Infection of the heart muscle
  • Drinking too much alcohol

What are the Symptoms of Heart Failure?

Heart failure usually develops slowly and is a chronic, long-term condition. However, sometimes the symptoms can develop quickly. Some of the signs and symptoms are:

  • Breathing problems: shortness of breath from walking stairs or simple activities, trouble breathing when resting or lying down, waking up breathless or needing more than two pillows to sleep
  • Fatigue/exercise problems: tiring easily, swelling of feet, ankles or legs and general feeling of fatigue
  • Coughing: frequent coughing, coughing that produces mucus or blood, or dry, hacking cough when lying flat

How is Heart Failure Treated?

Heart failure is a chronic disease that needs lifelong management. However, with treatment, a heart can become stronger. Symptoms of heart failure can also improve. The first line of treatment for heart failure consists of medicines taken daily, lifestyle changes and careful monitoring.

When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider?

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the signs or symptoms associated with heart failure. You should also call if your diagnosed heart failure symptoms change.

Call 911 right away or go to the emergency room if you have any of the following problems:

  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pain, tightness or heaviness
  • Confusion or trouble thinking clearly

Introducing the Bronson Heart Failure Clinic.

The Bronson Heart Failure Clinic is for patients diagnosed with heart failure. It was established to meet your special needs and the needs of your caregivers.

The goal of the clinic is to improve your quality of life and reduce the number of times you are admitted to the hospital due to heart failure. Our specialists provide personalized, evidence-based care and education to reduce your heart failure symptoms.

Choose Bronson Heart & Vascular for Your Heart Care.

When it comes to your heart, you deserve the very best. You and your family can feel confident that at Bronson, you will receive outstanding heart care.

Bronson Heart & Vascular is a comprehensive, regional collaboration for the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular conditions. A multidisciplinary team of adult and pediatric cardiovascular physicians, three hospitals and supporting services deliver an advanced, seamless continuum of care for patients throughout southwest and south central Michigan. Specialties include minimally invasive valve replacement, electrophysiology, peripheral vascular procedures, thoracic procedures and endovascular procedures.

For information about heart care or to find a heart doctor, click here or call Bronson HealthAnswers at (269) 341-7723 or (800) 451-6310.

The Bronson Heart & Vascular team is committed to heart and vascular disease prevention, and sharing easy steps you can take to live a healthier life. Looking for a Bronson doctor to help you? For a complete list of providers at Bronson, visit or call Bronson HealthAnswers at (269) 341-7723.

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