ABC Medical Center > Heart failure

What is Heart failure?

12:42 - 9 April , 2021


It refers to the inability of the heart to pump enough blood to distribute the necessary oxygen and nutrients to the cells of the rest of the body. Often times, the disease tends to worsen with age, producing a wide variety of symptoms and complications.

According to the American Heart Association, after turning 40, one in five people will develop some type of heart failure.

Signs and symptoms Heart failure

Most common symptoms:

  • Persistent fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
  • Feeling of suffocation at night.
  • Swelling of the legs and ankles.
  • Coughing up blood
  • Bluish nails and lips.
  • Chest pain.
  • Confusion. 
  • Faster heartbeat.
  • Increased need to urinate at night.

Call your ABC doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms. Do not put your life at risk! 

Main causes:

  • Narrow or blocked arteries.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Previous heart attacks.
  • Congenital heart disease.
  • Heart vascular disease.


Changing habits that allow you to have a healthy lifestyle is basic:

  • Monitor and keep your blood pressure stable.
  • Watch your diet and nutrition.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Lower your stress levels.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do not smoke and avoid alcohol abuse.

Diagnosis and treatment Heart failure

It is important to establish a timely diagnosis to indicate the most appropriate treatment. Your ABC doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical examination, and may suggest one of the following studies:

  • A chest X-ray to measure the size of the heart and detect a possible accumulation of fluid in the lung. 
  • Monitor blood flow through ultrasound.
  • An angiography and a stress test are recommended to check how the heart is working. 
  • Cardiac catheterization to see if there is any blockage in blood vessels.
  • Blood and urine tests to evaluate how well the kidneys are working.

Treatment options:

The main purpose of the treatment indicated for heart failure is to improve the pumping capacity of the heart and to eliminate excess fluid in the lungs.

In addition to treatment, you must completely change your habits to have a healthier lifestyle, you will be prescribed medicines to dilate the small peripheral arteries, diuretics to eliminate excess fluids, medicines to control blood pressure or, in some cases, surgery to correct any possible damage. A heart transplant may be required as a last resort.

Also, your ABC doctor will likely suggest a physical exercise plan to increase your endurance and oxygenation. 

At the Cardiovascular Center we offer you a wide range of prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up services to take care of you through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary care model. Come to us, we want to hear your heart.


  • sociedad mexicana
  • sociedad española de cardiología
  • mayoclinic.org
  • fundación mexicana del corazón
  • medigraphic.org
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  • Piñar SG, Cespedes PD. Insuficiencia cardíaca en el adulto mayor. Revista Médica Sinergia. 2020;5(09):1-9.
  • Ribera Casado J. Insuficiencia cardíaca en el paciente mayor: aspectos clínicos. Medicina integral [Internet]. 2012 [citado 23 enero 2021];40(10):423-484. Available from: https://www.elsevier.es/es-revistamedicina- integral-63-sumario-vol-40-num-10-X0210943302X19495
  • S Vasan R, WF Wilson P. Epidemiology and causes of heart failure. uptodate [Internet]. 2019 [citado 24 enero 2021];. Disponible en: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/epidemiology-and-causes-of-heartfailure/ print?search=insuficiencia%20cardiaca%20en%20el%20adulto%20mayor&source=search%E2%8 0%A6

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.