Congestive Heart Failure

Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure (CHF) at the age of 79 on March 23, 2011. Her death raises awareness of this serious condition that affects an estimated five million Americans.

Congestive heart failure means that the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. CHF may develop over a long period of time, sometimes over years, or almost immediately.

“There are many different reasons that CHF occurs,” says Dr. Ali Tabrizchi, an interventional cardiologist at the Heart Center at Sinai in Baltimore. “Genetics, which are passed down through families, as well lifestyle choices, can be to blame.”heart stethoscope

Among the possible causes:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Problems with the heart’s valves
  • Thyroid conditions
  • A heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • An infection of the heart muscle
  • Vitamin deficiencies

People of all ages and of both sexes can have congestive heart failure. Among some people who died from it are actress/dancer Ginger Rogers, makeup founder Max Factor Jr., jazz musician Lionel Hampton, NBA center Kevin Duckworth, and actor Andy Hallett who had a recurring role in the TV series “Angel.”

Chest pain is only one possible symptom of a heart problem. Other symptoms can be:

  • Constantly tired or weak
  • Dizzy spells
  • Frequent urination during the night
  • Problems breathing when lying down
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing when you exert yourself
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Waking at night coughing or short of breath

Adds Dr. Tabrizchi, “Through intensive treatment, outpatient management and education, many patients improve their health quality of life.”

Based on examinations and tests, your physician will develop a treatment plan for you, which may include:

  • Increased activity as recommended
  • Dietary changes to reduce intake of sodium
  • Medication to help the heart work better
  • Rest to give the heart a break
  • Referral for heart transplantation

For more information, contact the Heart Center at Sinai or the Northwest Hospital Division of Cardiology at www.lifebridgehealth.org, or call 410.601.WELL.

-Helene King

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premiere health care organization, call 866-404-DOCS.

Print this entry

1 Response

  1. Patricia

    Hi There,

    Sorry for posting off-topic, but I've recently been reading your blog and think you provide a great health resource. I was wondering if you accept guest contributions, and if so would like to offer to write a post discussing the merits of getting CPR training.

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    -Pat

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • Kimberlee Strome, #PilatesInstructor extraordinaire, let us take a peek in her studio at #LifeBridgeHealth & Fitness where she teaches a variety of #pilates classes. #Fitness #Exercise #Workout

    lifebridgehealth: "Kimberlee Strome, #PilatesInstructor extraordinaire, let us take a peek in her studio at #LifeBridgeHealth & Fitness where she teaches a variety of #pilates classes. #Fitness #Exercise #Workout"
    5
    2
  • @baltmag has named six #LifeBridgeHealth nurses in their "Excellence in Nursing 2015" edition. Sinai #president Amy Perry (center) poses here with one of our winners Jean Little, RN, after bringing flowers to her and the other #SinaiHospital "Top #Nurses." #BaltimoreMagazine #HealthCare #TopNurses #Accomplishments #Congratulations #NursesRock #Nurse

    lifebridgehealth: "@baltmag has named six #LifeBridgeHealth nurses in their "Excellence in Nursing 2015" edition. Sinai #president Amy Perry (center) poses here with one of our winners Jean Little, RN, after bringing flowers to her and the other #SinaiHospital "Top #Nurses." #BaltimoreMagazine #HealthCare #TopNurses #Accomplishments #Congratulations #NursesRock #Nurse"
    8
    1
  • Ollie Punnett, a patient at #LifeBridgeHealth, very much enjoyed the #ComfortKit she received from @givingcomfort. "Love is with you every second. Be kind and faithful to your most precious self and let it in. Love can heal anything and everything. Praying for you." - Linda S from the McKesson Foundation. #Cancer #Hope #Love #Comfort #Inspiration #MotivationalMessage

    lifebridgehealth: "Ollie Punnett, a patient at #LifeBridgeHealth, very much enjoyed the #ComfortKit she received from @givingcomfort. "Love is with you every second. Be kind and faithful to your most precious self and let it in. Love can heal anything and everything. Praying for you." - Linda S from the McKesson Foundation.  #Cancer #Hope #Love #Comfort #Inspiration #MotivationalMessage"
    7
    0
  • #ThankYou and congratulations to Stacey Carneal for being #NorthwestHospital's February SuperStar #employee. #LifeBridgeHealth #HealthCare #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #WorkHard

    lifebridgehealth: "#ThankYou and congratulations to Stacey Carneal for being #NorthwestHospital's February SuperStar #employee. #LifeBridgeHealth #HealthCare #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #WorkHard"
    6
    0
  • Today #LifeBridgeHealth celebrates Certified #Nurses Day, an event recognizing the important achievement of nursing specialty and sub-specialty certification. We are very thankful for all that our nurses do each and every day. #CertifiedNursesRock #ThankYou #HealthCare #AACN

    lifebridgehealth: "Today #LifeBridgeHealth celebrates Certified #Nurses Day, an event recognizing the important achievement of nursing specialty and sub-specialty certification. We are very thankful for all that our nurses do each and every day. #CertifiedNursesRock #ThankYou #HealthCare #AACN"
    5
    0
  • Congratulations Cathy Quinn on being #SinaiHospital's February SuperStar #employee! We appreciate all that you do. #HealthCare #ThankYou #WorkHard #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations Cathy Quinn on being #SinaiHospital's February SuperStar #employee! We appreciate all that you do. #HealthCare #ThankYou #WorkHard #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere"
    4
    0
  • #GoGreen for #StPatricksDay. Did you know that dark green leafy #vegetables have one of the highest concentrations of #health giving nutrients in any #food. #TipTuesday #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#GoGreen for #StPatricksDay. Did you know that dark green leafy #vegetables have one of the highest concentrations of #health giving nutrients in any #food. #TipTuesday #LifeBridgeHealth"
    6
    0
  • #TBT This #Levindale volunteer shares smiles and a warm cup of #coffee with a facility resident during her shift. Thank you to the Jewish Museum of Maryland for sharing this great #picture from 1977. #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TBT  This #Levindale volunteer shares smiles and a warm cup of #coffee with a facility resident during her shift. Thank you to the Jewish Museum of Maryland  for sharing this great #picture from 1977.  #LifeBridgeHealth"
    5
    0
  • #LifeBridgeHealth was proud to be a sponsor of this weekend's #Flashback5k, which supports the work of the Junior League of #Baltimore. As part of the event, our Vice President of Development Julia Cox did an interview with @foxbaltimore to talk about all the great things going on at #SinaiHospital. #Exercise #Run #Fitness #Race

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth was proud to be a sponsor of this weekend's #Flashback5k, which supports the work of the Junior League of #Baltimore. As part of the event, our Vice President of Development Julia Cox did an interview with @foxbaltimore to talk about all the great things going on at #SinaiHospital. #Exercise #Run #Fitness #Race"
    12
    1
  • Members of #SinaiHospital OB/GYN associates at #MaysChapel were all smiles during a celebration breakfast, thanking them for their hard work and outstanding results with the recent #JointCommission survey. Practice manager Jenorice Haynes calls them her "Supreme Team." Way to go!" #LifeBridgeHealth #HealthCare #ThankYou

    lifebridgehealth: "Members of #SinaiHospital OB/GYN associates at #MaysChapel were all smiles during a celebration breakfast, thanking them for their hard work and outstanding results with the recent #JointCommission survey. Practice manager Jenorice Haynes calls them her "Supreme Team." Way to go!" #LifeBridgeHealth #HealthCare #ThankYou"
    3
    0