Warning signs of heart failure – VnExpress

Shortness of breath, fatigue, angina… are signs of heart failure and need to do an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram for proper diagnosis and treatment.

I often have difficulty breathing when exercising vigorously, sometimes when I walk a lot, I feel tired, feel chest tightness, and have difficulty breathing. I don’t know what the warning signs of heart failure are and what are the stages of the disease, how should I treat it, doctor? (Kim Ha, HCMC)


Assoc. Prof. TS.BS Pham Nguyen Vinh (Director of Cardiovascular Center, Tam Anh General Hospital) said: Heart failure is the result of many different diseases such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy…

When the patient has symptoms of heart failure, the doctor will perform an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram. If echocardiography shows an ejection fraction less than or equal to 40%, systolic heart failure. If the ejection fraction is above or equal to 50%, it is diastolic heart failure. Ejection fraction is preserved due to various causes. When patients with heart failure have signs of shortness of breath, the degree of dyspnea will be classified according to the New Work Heart Association (NYHA) I, II, III, IV.

Dr. Vinh added that the American Heart Association (AHA) usually divides heart failure into 4 stages A, B, C, D. Stage A is at risk of heart failure, for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, arrhythmia, heavy drinking. Treatment from stage A will be most effective, if it goes through stage B, the disease will get worse, to stage D it is very difficult to treat. Heart failure prevention remains the most important measure.

According to MSc Nguyen Khiem Thao (Deputy Department of Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia, Cardiovascular Center, Tam Anh General Hospital), in clinical practice there will be two common groups of patients. The group of subjects had symptoms such as shortness of breath during activities, physical limitations, and work. At this point, the doctor will look for the cause of these signs, one of the functions to be evaluated is the heart. From there, there is the direction of treatment.

The remaining group of subjects was discovered by chance or family members of patients with heart failure. This disease has a genetic risk, so doctors will also screen people who are directly with the patient. For patients with no symptoms (stage A), it is difficult to diagnose the cause. However, if the cause is found, the patient will receive effective intervention at an early stage. As for the group of patients who already have symptoms, doctors will actively treat them, reducing the harmful effects of developing heart failure.

Up to now, the major associations of Europe, Asia, and the US have offered 3 models including heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction, heart failure with slightly reduced ejection fraction, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. exist. Currently, there are many modern techniques for diagnosing heart failure, especially echocardiographic imaging. New techniques help detect changes in heart function at an early stage. If the patient already has heart failure, the doctor will base on the ejection fraction into 3 groups of diseases to approach the appropriate treatment.

Ngoc An


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