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Heart Failure: Risk Factors and Treatment Research Paper

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Updated: Aug 9th, 2020

Goal Statement

The purpose of this paper is to establish that while early treatment of heart failure creates positive outcomes, disregarding even a single risk aspect or symptom may result in a later need for rigorous treatment, hospitalization, a complication of the condition, or death in some circumstances.


Heart failure denotes an ailment that arises from the heart’s inability to pump an adequate amount of blood to the organs of the body at a suitable pressure. It mostly occurs when the heart muscle becomes exceedingly weak or inflexible to function correctly. Heart failure does not mean that the heart is almost stopping to function but that it requires additional support, often in terms of medication (Ambrosy et al., 2014). Some of the symptoms and signs of heart failure encompass shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, and extreme fatigue to mention a few (Guyton & Hall, 2016).

Heart failure occurs in four levels (from A to D), which depend on the development and severity of the condition. Phase A is not a worrisome condition although it could become severe if not treated early. In phase B, heart function begins to deteriorate considerably and the patient could suffer a heart attack though the symptoms may not be evident. In phase C, the signs and symptoms of the condition emerge. In phase D, the advancement of the condition could happen alongside signs that may be impossible to treat with the application of typical drugs and might call for more technically intricate care such as heart transplant. Effective treatment of heart failure relies on the level and severity of the condition.


Studies affirm that over six million grownups in the United States (approximately 2% of the American population) have heart failure. In this regard, the condition presents a vital clinical concern attributable to its incidence, mortality, morbidity, and outlay of treatment. The prevalence of heart failure rises with age to an extent that for people aged 80 years and above, nearly 10% of both males and females have heart failure.

The rate of death from heart failure is high with about half of the Medicare beneficiaries failing to survive for more than three years after hospitalization (Heidenreich et al., 2013). Even though the level of hospitalization for heart failure has reduced noticeably of late, the cost of managing the condition is soaring and has been a cause of concern for the United States healthcare sector.

Assuming that the current care progression will remain constant, an augment in the cost of care will be incurred, partially because medical advancements and execution of life-sustaining therapies will result in longer survival of the patients. Moreover, continued aging of the US residents could result in more people being at risk for the development of heart failure (Vigen, Maddox, & Allen, 2012). On the contrary, though the prevalence of heart failure has risen with time, health professionals believe that decreased hospitalization is a factor that demonstrates that the future holds optimism concerning decreased incidence, lessened cost of care, and enhanced preventative measures.

Risk Factors

A comprehension of the risk aspects for heart failure is crucial for the generation of effective interventions that seek to prevent the occurrence of the condition. The demographic risk aspects encompass aging, female gender, race, and low income. Some forms of illnesses contribute to the occurrence of heart failure, with Ischemic heart disease acting as a considerable risk aspect. High blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity are also believed to be risk factors for heart failure. Type II diabetes mellitus has been found to increase the risk factor for the condition by 2-times in males and 5-times in females. Obesity could cause both diabetes and hypertension, which are risk factors for heart failure (Lavie et al., 2013). Smoking leads to a considerably high risk for the occurrence of heart failure.


Healthcare professionals underscore the significance of patient-centeredness to the treatment decisions regarding heart failure (McMurray et al., 2012). Therefore, patients with heart failure ought to have regular discussions with health professionals regarding their inclinations and quality of life objectives. In phase A, the initial approach in management or prevention is the provision of treatment for the conditions that have a likelihood of causing or complicating heart failure.

Over and above offering the treatment approaches for stage A, the other phases, B, C, and D, necessitate the provision of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and/or beta-blockers. In phase D, patients have conditions that may fail to respond to treatment positively. In this case, the management of the condition should not just center on continued existence but also reduction of symptoms and provision of quality life. This should be done by offering similar treatment approaches as in phases A, B, and C, over and above the stringent management of fluid retention, heart transplant when inevitable, and end-of-life care.

The application of mechanical support, for instance, heart pumps, has turned out to be significant for severe conditions. Such approaches may assist patients for a long time by creating room for successful heart transplantation and ensuring definitive therapy, which may proactively back recuperation even after the occurrence of dramatic transformations (McMurray et al., 2012). Advancement of technology coupled with the betterment of the quality of care has a considerable role in ensuring the helpful treatment of heart failure.

It is vital for heart failure patients and health providers to be conscious of the progress of the condition in the course of recuperation to address any arising or unpredictable symptoms in an opportune manner. Early and comprehensive treatment approach by health professionals has been established to create positive outcomes. Nevertheless, disregarding even a single risk factor or symptom until the patient demands rigorous treatment and hospitalization may result in complications of the condition or death in some situations.

The majority of heart failure patients can lead a full and enjoyable life if the condition is treated through the application of suitable drugs and technological approaches, as well as lifestyle modification. Effective treatment relies on the readiness of patients and healthcare professionals to become dedicated to the management of the condition (McAlister et al., 2013). The contemporary healthcare environment presents better treatment and management approaches for heart failures than in the past and the future offers the hope of getting rid of the word ‘failure’ from the name of this condition. The most heartening means of dealing with heart failure is seeking treatment early or preventing the condition through ensuring healthy nutrition, regular exercise, or avoidance of smoking to mention a few.


Heart failure represents an illness that arises from the incapability of the heart to drive a sufficient amount of blood throughout the body at the appropriate pressure. The condition occurs in four levels (from A to D), which are reliant on its development and severity. It acts as a vital clinical concern based on its prevalence, morbidity, the possibility of causing death, and the cost of care. Valuable treatment of heart failure relies on the degree and severity of the condition. The most inspirational means of handling heart failure is seeking early therapy or preventing the condition through such approaches as avoiding smoking.


Ambrosy, A. P., Fonarow, G. C., Butler, J., Chioncel, O., Greene, S. J., Vaduganathan, M., & Gheorghiade, M. (2014). The global health and economic burden of hospitalizations for heart failure: Lessons learned from hospitalized heart failure registries. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(12), 1123-1133.

Guyton, A. C., & Hall, J. E. (2016). Textbook of medical physiology (13th ed.). London: Saunders.

Heidenreich, P. A., Albert, N. M., Allen, L. A., Bluemke, D. A., Butler, J., Fonarow, G. C., & Nichol, G. (2013). Forecasting the impact of heart failure in the United States: A policy statement from the American heart association. Circulation: Heart Failure, 6(3), 606-619.

Lavie, C. J., Alpert, M. A., Arena, R., Mehra, M. R., Milani, R. V., & Ventura, H. O. (2013). Impact of obesity and the obesity paradox on prevalence and prognosis in heart failure. JACC: Heart Failure, 1(2), 93-102.

McAlister, F. A., Youngson, E., Bakal, J. A., Kaul, P., Ezekowitz, J., & van Walraven, C. (2013). Impact of physician continuity on death or urgent readmission after discharge among patients with heart failure. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 185(14), 681-689.

McMurray, J. J., Adamopoulos, S., Anker, S. D., Auricchio, A., Böhm, M., Dickstein, K., & Jaarsma, T. (2012). ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure 2012. European journal of heart failure, 14(8), 803-869.

Vigen, R., Maddox, T. M., & Allen, L. A. (2012). Aging of the United States population: Impact on heart failure. Current heart failure reports, 9(4), 369-374.

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