In reality, heart failure is not a single disease, but a syndrome that can be caused by different factors. The most frequent are: arterial hypertension and ischemic heart disease:
- Ischemic heart disease: is a disease of the coronary arteries that occurs due to the narrowing of the arteries that irrigate the heart due to the deposit of fats and damage to its wall. When the obstruction to the passage of blood is total, myocardial infarction occurs, as a result of which there is a lack of oxygen and damage to an area of the heart muscle, which will cause a difficulty to contract and to expel blood properly. Coronary artery disease is closely associated with the main risk factors: hyperlipemia (elevated cholesterol), arterial hypertension (elevated blood pressure), smoking, diabetes (sugar) and obesity.
- Arterial hypertension: commonly known as high blood pressure, occurs when the pressure in the arteries of the body is elevated or poorly controlled. Then, the heart has to make a greater effort to pump blood and over time it can weaken.
Other causes less common than the above, but frequent in daily clinical practice are the following:
- Cardiomyopathy: also known as the alteration of the heart muscle, it can be caused by alcohol abuse, drugs or viral infections. Sometimes the cause is not known.
- Valvulopathies: these are diseases that include any defect in the heart valves. In these cases, the heart has to work with greater difficulty and in the long run it is unable to work efficiently.
- Other problems that alone or together can lead to heart failure:
- Congenital heart disease. Heart diseases from birth.
- Bronchopathies. These are advanced lung or bronchial diseases.
- Severe anemia.
- Hyperthyroidism. It is the excessive functioning of the thyroid.
In heart failure, episodes of decompensation frequently occur, requiring the patient to remain hospitalized. There are a number of factors (other diseases, daily habits, drugs…), which can trigger the onset of heart failure, but if corrected can improve symptoms. These are:
- Other diseases: fever, arrhythmias, infections, anemia, obesity, respiratory and renal insufficiency, hyperthyroidism….
- Treatment with certain drugs: anti-inflammatory drugs (common drugs for the treatment of pain), corticosteroids (common drugs in the treatment of rheumatic diseases or respiratory insufficiency), etc.
- Dietary habits: excessive salt intake or fluid overload, lack of physical activity, etc.
- Undoubtedly one of the most important, and that most precipitates the development of an admission for heart failure, is the abandonment of the medication prescribed by your doctor.