A Beat Too Short: A Narrative Review of Heart Failure

Author(s): Yogesh Acharya, Anastasia Anoshina, Daniella Azike, Ranjan Dahal

Background: Heart failure (HF) is one of the most common global public health concerns and a leading cause of death with the steadily increasing prevalence and substantial impact on quality of life. The objective of the article is to analyze various components of HF and discuss its determinants.

Materials and Methods: A total of 50 articles was chosen for this literature review from sources such as EBSCO, PUBMED and Google Scholar.

Results: Risk of developing HF is highest with coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and smoking respectively. Regardless of the precipitating factors, many compensatory mechanisms in our body serve only as a temporary fix. Most patients present with volume overload and normal or reduced cardiac output. Evaluation begins with a comprehensive history and examination, supported by the laboratory test. The major goals of treatment are to improve quality of life, alleviate symptoms, and reduce morbidity and mortality by reversing or slowing the cardiac and other vital organ dysfunction. Atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias are the most dreaded complications, and the prognosis is interlinked with associated comorbidities.

Currently, prescribed medications can improve the signs and symptoms HF. But it is necessary to develop and validate newer treatments, and early diagnostic modalities to enhance the quality of life. More research is needed to better organize and formulate patient-oriented plans when it comes to non-pharmacological treatment approach. A holistic approach is necessary to curb its growing incidence and address comorbidities, starting with health education and general screening.

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