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Heart attack occurs whenever the artery that supplies blood to the heart muscle gets blocked.
This incident will lead to a denial of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and can damage the heart’s muscle tissue.
Essentially, a part of it “dies” and as a result the heart tissue becomes weak and will not contract as well as it should.
“Congestive heart failure (CHF), is a syndrome, a group of signs and symptoms caused by an impairment of the heart’s blood pumping function.”
Below we will be looking at the different causes of heart attack.
16 Causes of Heart failure
Any of the following conditions can damage or weaken your heart and can cause heart failure.
Some of these can be present without your knowing it:
1. High blood pressure (hypertension)
This usually occurs when your heart is working harder than it normally should in order to circulate blood through your system.
This condition can have a damaging effect on your heart muscle, because it can lead to your heart chambers becoming too stiff or weak to be able to continue pumping blood through your body.
When you are having HBP and it is not controlled, it can potentially lead to heart failure.
Because the heart will be forced to pump even harder when the pressure in the blood vessel is too high.
2. Coronary artery disease and heart attack
This is the most common form of heart disease that results from the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries.
The fatty deposits over time will lead to a reduced blood flow and can ultimately lead to heart attack.
An incidence of heart attack can happen all of a sudden when the coronary artery becomes completely blocked.
3. Faulty heart valves
Due to an uncontrolled high blood pressure, the heart valves can become damaged from over working.
The valves whose job is to regulate the flow and direction of blood through the heart, can easily become damaged due to disease, heart defect from birth or infection (endocarditis) .
When the valves become faulty and do not close or open properly as they should, the heart will be forced to pump blood with a higher force and this can also lead to heart failure over time.
4. Damage to the heart muscle
Heart muscle can become damaged due to many reasons, but the most common reasons are due to disease, viral infections, heavy use of alcohol, toxic effects from hard drugs like cocaine or even genetic factors.
5. Inflammation of the heart muscle
This is also called Myocarditis and is most likely to occur due to virus infections, even the COVID-19 virus was linked to a left-sided heart failure.
6. Congenital heart defect
This is a heart problem that one is born with and this condition usually occurs if the heart chambers and valves were not formed correctly from birth.
This obviously will lead to a lot of issues where the better parts of the heart will have to compensate by working much harder to circulate blood through the body and this can lead to heart failure.
This is a condition of Abnormal heart rhythms. These abnormal heart rhythms may cause the heart to beat too fast or too slow and in the process creating extra work for the heart that may lead to heart failure.
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However, there are certain diseases and conditions that are considered as high risk factors that can also lead to heart failure if not well managed or treated for a long time. These includes:
Diabetic patients tend to also develop hypertension and atherosclerosis from elevated lipids levels in their blood, and these have been linked to heart failure.
9. Overactive or Underactive Thyroid
10. Build up of Iron or protein in the body
11. Severe lung disease
This can lead to a situation where the heart has to work much harder to get the required oxygen for the rest of the body
12. Past heart attack (myocardial infarction)
People that have suffered from heart attack in the past are usually prone to another heart failure due to the fact that some heart muscles may not recover from the initial failure and that can lead to another failure.
Obesity can cause the heart to work even much harder and these can lead to heart failure, more so, obesity can also cause sleep apnea and cardiomyopathy.
14. Sleep Apnea
This is a very threatening life disorder that causes pauses in breathing, it can lead to fatigue, this can cause a lot of other health issues like stroke, HBP or even heart failure. While in some cases, people suffering from heart failure may need to use a CPAP machine.
15. Low red blood cell count (severe anaemia)
This can occur when there aren’t enough red blood cells in the body to carry oxygen. In this case, the heart tries to move the small number of cells at a faster heart rate and this can become overtaxing for the heart.
This has also in many cases been linked to heart failure
Some other causes of sudden heart failure may includes:
- Blood clots in the lungs
- Allergic reactions
- Use of certain medications
- Any illness that affects the whole body
- Viruses that attack the heart muscle
- Severe infections
In some of these cases, the person may experience heart failure symptoms until the underlying problem is identified and treated.