Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure (CHF) at the age of 79 on March 23. 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.”
Among the possible causes:
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:
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 can include: