Unfortunately, your body slows down in your sixth and seventh decade. Climbing stairs that used to be two each now feels as intimidating as climbing Everest. Natural aging can lead to some loss of vitality, but fatigue and shortness of breath can be signs that your heart is not working properly. “There is a general tendency for people to ignore the symptoms of heart failure and attribute them to aging, so it was very important for us to create an easy way to identify these symptoms,” said Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, Director. hospitals. Cardiovascular Center at Harvard Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Face of heart failure
Heart failure occurs when something damages the heart muscle or reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently. In most cases, the damage is caused by coronary heart disease or a heart attack. But valvular heart failure, high blood pressure and genetic diseases are also to blame. Regardless of the cause, heart failure cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the demand.
The American Heart Failure Association (www.HFSA.org) has developed a handy tool called FACES that helps doctors and patients quickly identify combinations of heart failure symptoms.
F = fatigue. When the heart cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the body’s energy needs, you usually feel tired or fatigued.
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