Left-Sided Heart Failure vs. Right-Sided Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition where the heart is weakened and unable to pump blood effectively, resulting in insufficient blood flow to the body’s organs and systems. Heart failure can be acute, meaning that it appears suddenly but goes away relatively quickly. This may be the case following a heart attack or if there are problems with the heart valves.

The majority of cases of heart failure, however, are chronic. This means that symptoms persist and don’t improve over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 5.7 million Americans have heart failure. The condition is more common in men, but women are more likely to die from heart failure if it is not treated. We will outline the different types of heart failure, their diagnosis, left vs right heart failure symptoms, and the treatment options.

Risk Factors for Left or Right-Sided Heart Failure

Any of the below risk factors alone may be enough to cause heart failure, but a combination of these risk factors can significantly increase risk. Risk factors for heart failure include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart valve disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Some diabetes medications
  • Alcohol use
  • Sleep apnea
  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Viral infections

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