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 premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

Print this entry

1 Response

  1. Patricia
    Hi There,<br /><br />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.<br /><br />Hope to hear from you soon!<br /><br />-Pat

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • #TBT Did you know #SinaiHospital used to be located in downtown #Baltimore? It wasn’t until 1959 that Sinai moved to its current location.

    lifebridgehealth: "#TBT Did you know #SinaiHospital used to be located in downtown #Baltimore? It wasn’t until 1959 that Sinai moved to its current location."
    8
    0
  • #CarrollHospital was happy to participate once again in Westminster's Main Street #Holiday Electric Parade. This year the hospital ambassador, Carroll, joined the fun too! #LifeBridgeHealth #CommunityEvent #Maryland #Lights #Westminster #Healthcare #Hospital #Festive

    lifebridgehealth: "#CarrollHospital was happy to participate once again in Westminster's Main Street #Holiday Electric Parade. This year the hospital ambassador, Carroll, joined the fun too!

#LifeBridgeHealth #CommunityEvent #Maryland #Lights #Westminster #Healthcare #Hospital #Festive"
    21
    0
  • In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the eight providers and 20 support staff members of the Carroll Medical Group. This large team is big enough that our patients can easily find a provider whose personality fits well with theirs, but small enough to have a warm, family-oriented atmosphere. #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth #Employee #EmployeeSpotlight #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the eight providers and 20 support staff members of the Carroll Medical Group. This large team is big enough that our patients can easily find a provider whose personality fits well with theirs, but small enough to have a warm, family-oriented atmosphere. #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth #Employee #EmployeeSpotlight #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare"
    17
    0
  • #TBT Did you know there’s a mini-museum inside #SinaiHospital? Located behind the cafeteria near the tray return, “Sinai Pride” provides a look back in time, displaying notable medical instruments, historic photos and more. Stop in and check it out!

    lifebridgehealth: "#TBT Did you know there’s a mini-museum inside #SinaiHospital? Located behind the cafeteria near the tray return, “Sinai Pride” provides a look back in time, displaying notable medical instruments, historic photos and more. Stop in and check it out!"
    24
    1
  • Lavish #holiday feasts can interfere with important daily routines for people with diabetes. This holiday season, manage your blood sugars by balancing your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates. #WednesdayWisdom #NDAM

    lifebridgehealth: "Lavish #holiday feasts can interfere with important daily routines for people with diabetes. This holiday season, manage your blood sugars by balancing your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates. #WednesdayWisdom #NDAM"
    19
    1
  • Ready for some #Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some pictures from the #TurkeyTrot, which supported The Y in Central Maryland. #LifeBridgeHealth was a proud sponsor of this year's event, and our CEO Neil Meltzer was one of the starters for the race in Towson along with the Y CEO John Hoey. Thanks to everyone who participated, including many of our LifeBridge Health employees and their families. #Maryland #community #supportlocal #communityevent #run #exercise

    lifebridgehealth: "Ready for some #Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some pictures from the #TurkeyTrot, which supported The Y in Central Maryland. #LifeBridgeHealth was a proud sponsor of this year's event, and our CEO Neil Meltzer was one of the starters for the race in Towson along with the Y CEO John Hoey. Thanks to everyone who participated, including many of our LifeBridge Health employees and their families. #Maryland #community #supportlocal #communityevent #run #exercise"
    23
    0
  • Patients, families and staff enjoyed meeting #Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who stopped by to help out at the annual #Thanksgiving lunch at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "Patients, families and staff enjoyed meeting #Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who stopped by to help out at the annual #Thanksgiving lunch at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai.
#SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Healthcare"
    38
    0
  • In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the dedicated team members of Total Women's Health of #Baltimore. This team, led by Dionne D. Oliver, M.D., works hard to communicate and collaborate with each other, not only to do their jobs effectively but to provide superb patient care. We thank you for all that you do!

    lifebridgehealth: "In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the dedicated team members of Total Women's Health of #Baltimore. This team, led by Dionne D. Oliver, M.D., works hard to communicate and collaborate with each other, not only to do their jobs effectively but to provide superb patient care. We thank you for all that you do!"
    33
    3
  • #NorthwestHospital is proud to partner with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) on a health care magnet school, the Northwest Academy of Health Sciences. We look forward to working with these amazing students who are truly the future of health care!

    lifebridgehealth: "#NorthwestHospital is proud to partner with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) on a health care magnet school, the Northwest Academy of Health Sciences. We look forward to working with these amazing students who are truly the future of health care!"
    16
    1
  • Thanks to the #AmericanHeartAssociation for sending us this photo of #TeamLifeBridge who participated in this fall's #HeartWalk. Thanks to everyone who came out to #supportthefight against #heartdisease and #stroke. #MDHeartWalk

    lifebridgehealth: "Thanks to the #AmericanHeartAssociation for sending us this photo of #TeamLifeBridge who participated in this fall's #HeartWalk. Thanks to everyone who came out to #supportthefight against #heartdisease and #stroke. #MDHeartWalk"
    22
    4