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Congestive Heart Failure

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Monday, Aug. 27, 2007; 7:44 PM

Copyright Harvard Health Publications 2007

When To Call A Professional

Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms, particularly if you already have been diagnosed with some form of heart disease:

  • Marked fatigue

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Swelling of the ankles and legs

  • Increase in abdominal girth

  • Episodes of breathlessness


The outlook depends on the patient's age, the severity of the heart failure, the severity of the underlying heart disease, and other factors. When congestive heart failure develops suddenly and has a treatable cause, people sometimes can regain normal heart function after treatment. With appropriate treatment, even people who develop congestive heart failure as a result of long-standing heart disease often can enjoy many years of productive life.

Additional Info

American Heart Association (AHA) 7272 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75231 Toll-Free: (800) 242-8721 Fax: (214) 706-2139 http://www.americanheart.org/

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) 6701 Rockledge Dr. P.O. Box 30105 Bethesda, MD 20824-0105 Phone: (301) 592-8573 http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

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