Heart failure is defined as a medical complication characterized by the heart being unable to pump adequate blood volumes, or it cannot fill with enough blood thereby ensuring that it does not have to stop for a heart failure diagnosis to be made. The condition has a high incidence rate (5 million patients receiving treatment for the condition) and high mortality rate (300,000 people die annually as a result of the condition) (Gheorghiade, 2013). It manifests gradually when the pumping process of the heart weakens and usually starts on the right side but could develop to the left side of the heart. Right side heart failure comes about when the heart is unable to pump adequate blood volumes thereby causing fluid buildup in tissues like the feet, ankles, legs, liver, abdomen, and the veins in the neck. The left side heart failure ensues when the heart is unable to pump adequate quantities of oxygen-rich blood to the other body parts resulting in general shortness of breath and fatigue. Heart failure disease progression begins with heart enlargement, an increase in heart muscle mass that is accompanied by increased heart activity to compensate for the oxygen shortage (Bowers, 2013). It is caused by diseases that damage the heart. Some of these diseases include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, heart valve disease, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, chemotherapy and radiation, congenital heart defects, alcohol consumption, smoking, thyroid disorders, and drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, too much vitamin E and diabetes. Currently, there is no cure for heart failure, but patients can live active and longer lives through taking the right medication and adopting a healthy lifestyle (Snyder, 2015). Disease Analysis Sample Research
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A review of heart failure statistics shows that it is a source of concern. Despite the condition being preventable, approximately 5.8 million people live with the condition with 5 million of them receiving treatment. In addition, as much as 66% of the deaths occurring in the country are resultant of the condition. Besides that, care for the condition takes a lot of healthcare resources that could have been used in other medical activities. In fact, national heart failure management figures are approximately $37.2 billion with most of the money spent on patient readmissions (Gheorghiade, 2013). Additional analysis of the disease statistics shows that 95% of the persons diagnosed with the condition are older adults who had unhealthy diets in their formative years. In fact, persons who extensively ate unhealthy diets in their formative years have a 95% chance of developing the condition while those who ate healthy diets have a 50% chance of developing the condition (Mozaffarian et al., 2015). Feltner et al. (2014) adds to the discussion by mentioning that even for persons diagnosed with heart disease, healthy lifestyles and diets could reduce 13% of readmission figures.
Although heart failure has been linked to a range of causes, perhaps the most common cause is mental stress. Kupper et al. (2015) explains this point by mentioning that mental stress influences heart rate and blood pressure to cause heart failure. In this case, stress is reported to affect factors and behaviors that increase the risk of heart failure to include overeating, physical inactivity, smoking, increased cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. For that matter, stress results in the patient developing unhealthy habits and behaviors as a coping mechanism, resulting in increased blood pressure that damages the walls of the blood vessels to cause heart failure. In essence, mental stress sets into motion a chain of events that ultimately result in the condition occurring. When the body is placed under stress, adrenaline is released to cause an increase in the breathing rate, heart rate and blood pressure. This is a ‘fight or flight’ response to the mental stress. When the body is placed under constant stress, the ‘fight or flight’ response become more common thus causing the body to be in high gear for hours, days or even weeks at a time. When the stress becomes chronic, the heart vessels are placed under greater strain to result in more incidences of heart failure. The implication is that managing stress could reduce the incidence of heart failure. Stress management is achieved through maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, avoiding unhealthy habits such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, and engaging in healthier habits to manage the stress. Additionally, tranquilizers can be used to manage stress for the short terms since they provide immediate relief in easing the ‘fight or flight’ response, although they should not be used for the longer term since this could create a dependency relationship (Mann & Felker, 2015). This analysis makes it clear that heart failure is a condition of concern, mental stress is a risk factor for the condition, and that there is a need to improve mental stress management as a strategy for managing the condition. Disease Analysis Sample Research
Bowers, M. (2013). Managing patients with heart failure. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 9(10), 634-642.
Feltner, C., Jones, C., Cene, C., Zheng, Z., Sueta, C. … & Jonas, D. (2014). Transitional care interventions to prevent readmissions for persons with heart failure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med., 160(11), 774-784.
Gheorghiade, M. (2013). Rehospitalization for heart failure problems and perspectives. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 61(4), 1-13.
Kupper, N., Denollet, J., Widdershoven, J. & Kop, W. (2015). Cardiovascular reactivity to mental stress and mortality in patients with heart failure. Journal of American College of Cardiology, 3(5), 373-382. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2014.12.016
Mann, D. & Felker, M. (2015). Heart failure: a companion to Braunwald’s heart disease (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier-Saunders.
Mozaffarian, D., Benjamin, E., Go, A., Arnett, D., Blaha, M., Cushman, M … & Turner, M. (2015). Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update. Circulation, 131, 434-441.
Snyder, S. (2015). Diagnosis and treatment of the patient with heart failure. EMS World, 33-42. Disease Analysis Sample Research
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