What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Failure

What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Failure?

• Coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease reduces blood flow. Insufficient blood flow leads to enlarged ventricular muscles and heart failure.

• Myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarction diminishes blood flow, causing hypoxia and the death of cardiac muscle cells. Atherosclerosis and blood clots are common risk factors for myocardial infarction and heart failure. Myocardial infarction patients have an increased risk of heart failure compared to healthy individuals.

• Hypertension. Hypertension is associated with enlarged ventricles, systolic and diastolic pressure disorders, irregular heartbeat, and heart failure. To cope with the extra pressure on the arterial wall, the hearts of hypertensive patients enlarge in size as well as thickness. An enlarged heart is unable to perform the normal contract-and-relax cycle, increasing the risk of heart failure.

• Diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of heart failure and the incidence rate of death from heart failure. High blood glucose induces endothelial dysfunction, damages cardiac muscle cells, and alters gene expression, all of which are risk factors for heart failure and heart attack.

• Alcohol. Alcohol induces alcoholic cardiomyopathy, which is characterized by an enlarged muscle layer in the left ventricle, increasing the risk of heart failure.

• Smoking. Nicotine from cigarette smoke lowers oxygen content and increases blood pressure and heartbeat. Nicotine can also damage cardiac muscle cells and increase the risk of heart failure.

• Obesity. Fat tissues in obese people release fatty acids, inflammatory cytokines, and hormones into the bloodstream. These substances, particularly fatty acids, can build up in the heart and induce cardiac lipotoxicity, a condition that damages cardiac muscle cells and affects cardiac function. These obesity-related pathological changes increase the risk of heart failure.

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