Congestive heart failure in elderly, otherwise referred to as CHF, is a condition in which the heart’s function as a pump is inadequate to meet the body’s needs. It can occur when the heart is weakened or damaged from diseases or the demand for oxygen by the body is more than the heart can supply.
Although there have been recent improvements in congestive heart failure treatment, researchers say the prognosis for people with the disease is still bleak, with about 50% having an average life expectancy of less than five years . For those with advanced forms of heart failure, nearly 90% die within one year.
Warning signs of worsening heart failure Sudden weight gain (2–3 pounds in one day or 5 or more pounds in one week) Extra swelling in the feet or ankles. Swelling or pain in the abdomen. Shortness of breath not related to exercise.
In a recent study, it was reported that patients hospitalized with moderate systolic heart failure faced a median expected survival time of 2.4 years if they were aged 71 to 80 years and 1.4 years if they were aged 80 years or more. In patients with more advanced systolic dysfunction, life expectancy was even shorter.
Symptoms of Heart Failure Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing . Chronic coughing and/or wheezing . Fatigue . Light-headedness. Swelling , especially of the feet, ankles and legs. Nausea. Loss of appetite. Elevated heart rate.
The symptoms of end -stage congestive heart failure include dyspnea, chronic cough or wheezing, edema, nausea or lack of appetite, a high heart rate, and confusion or impaired thinking. Learn about the hospice eligibility requirements for end -stage heart failure .
Heart failure signs and symptoms may include: Shortness of breath ( dyspnea ) when you exert yourself or when you lie down. Fatigue and weakness . Swelling ( edema ) in your legs, ankles and feet. Rapid or irregular heartbeat. Reduced ability to exercise. Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm.
Approximately 90% of heart failure patients die from cardiovascular causes. Fifty per cent die from progressive heart failure , and the remainder die suddenly from arrhythmias and ischaemic events.
While advancements have been made, according to a 2008 study, 50% of patients will have an average life expectancy of five years . For those with advanced heart failure , up to 90 % will pass away within one year .
There are four stages of heart failure (Stage A, B, C and D). The stages range from “high risk of developing heart failure” to “advanced heart failure,” and provide treatment plans.
Patients are considered to be in the terminal end stage of heart disease when they have a life expectancy of six months or less. Only a doctor can make a clinical determination of congestive heart failure life expectancy.
Dr. Werden says full recovery depends on a variety of things, such as how well a patient responds to medication. A minority of people with congestive heart failure require surgery, and some will never enjoy the high quality of life they did before their hearts failed.
Walking helps congestive heart failure patients in several ways: Reduces heart attack risk, including cutting the risk of having a second heart attack. Strengthens their hearts and improves lung function. Long term, aerobic activity improves your heart’s ability to pump blood to your lungs and throughout your body.
Elderly patients are often treated with negative inotropic agents such as calcium channel antagonists or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and hormonal agents that promote fluid retention. They are prone to recurrent episodes of CHF due to various factors.
The current in-hospital treatment for CHF involves removal of excess fluid with diuretic medication and/or ultrafiltration in which a machine bypasses the kidneys and filters water and salt from the body. However, these treatments can have unwanted side effects such as low blood pressure and worsening kidney function.
You may experience a persistent cough or wheezing (a whistling sound in the lungs or laboured breathing) due to your heart failure . The wheezing is similar to asthma but has a different cause in heart failure .