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What is heart failure

Despite its widespread prevalence and the enormous burden it imposes on health systems and patients in terms of impact and costs, heart failure has not been classified up to the present time as an organic disease, but rather it is known in medical science and by scientific and research institutions as a clinical syndrome and not a disease in the sense. Literal. In practice and according to what is recognized by doctors, the diagnosis of heart failure syndrome requires several apparent things and symptoms, including some typical symptoms and signs, in addition to data derived from complementary medical examinations that show some kind of impaired heart function.


In this article, we will review information about this heart failure syndrome and its potential risk for patients who neglect treatment, and explain what complications may result from this condition.

What is meant by heart failure?

Heart failure can be a disease that occurs as a result of current diseases or old diseases. What is meant here is diseases that directly or indirectly affect the work of the heart muscle and damage it or expose it to additional burdens and pressures. In general, if you have one or more of these conditions, the risk of developing heart failure syndrome increases significantly. This means seeing a doctor for an evaluation of your condition, in order to avoid potential serious complications that may arise from your heart failure.

Some of the most common causes of heart failure are:

  • Previous myocardial infarction.
  • Coronary artery disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Any disease that can affect the heart valves.
  • Heart muscle disease or carditis.
  • Congenital heart anomalies.
  • lung diseases.
  • Alcoholism / drug addiction.

Other less common causes that can cause this type of heart failure are:

  • Infection or infections.
  • Kidney disease / kidney failure.
  • Anemia or anemia.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • An overactive (overactive) thyroid gland.

If these triggers and triggers are addressed in a timely manner, the patient with heart failure syndrome often improves.

In addition to all of the above diseases and living conditions, there are some other diseases, such as diabetes, that can aggravate the problem of heart failure and make the patient’s condition more dangerous. Therefore it is essential to manage and control these diseases as much as possible.

Also, people with heart failure usually develop symptoms if they stop taking the medication or if the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor is not followed properly or not adhered to.

In some people, the cause of heart failure is unknown. In this case, the patient does not have any of the disorders or diseases mentioned above. If you are not sure of the cause of your condition, discuss it with your doctor.

How dangerous is heart failure

Even if you treat heart failure effectively, you can suffer from complications that can be severe and life-threatening. It is important to identify the complications of heart failure as early as possible, as some conditions can be very serious. You can talk to your doctor about your complications and learn appropriate measures to prevent them. The following table illustrates the complications of heart failure:

  • Atrial fibrillation or an irregular heartbeat.
  • Dramatically increases the risk of having a stroke.
  • It can cause palpitations.
  • Ventricular fibrillation.
  • Syncope (syncope).
  • sudden death.
  • Renal impairment (decreased kidney function).
  • Decrease in urine production.
  • Fatigue, lack of appetite and lethargy.
  • Poverty tail.
  • Decrease in oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in red blood cells.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • A stroke due to the brain being deprived of oxygen.
  • Loss of cognitive or motor functions.
  • It reduces the efficiency of the heart’s pumping action.
  •  Involuntary weight loss is dangerous.
  • Venous insufficiency and ulcers in the legs.
  • Venous insufficiency: the skin becomes thicker and the skin looks shiny or flaky; Your hair may also fall out. The skin may also turn brown or red.

Despite all these risks that we have mentioned, they are rare for people who adhere to the treatment plan set by the doctor, so the most important thing that can be done in the event of heart failure is to commit to taking the medicines within the prescribed dosage by the doctor at the appropriate time.


A promising goal for treating heart failure

A new study in mice by CNIC experts proves that eliminating the OMA1 protease prevents heart failure and thus plays a direct role in protecting heart muscle cells. Heart failure is characterized by the inability of the heart to adequately meet the body’s energy requirements.

CNIC scientists, coordinated by Jose Antonio Enriquez, have described a new treatment goal for preventing heart failure, one of the biggest causes of death worldwide.

The target is a protease, located in the mitochondria (AOM1), which is activated when the heart is stressed and protects the inhibition of cardiac cells or cardiomyocytes thus preventing their death and deterioration of heart function.

Heart failure is one of the most deadly diseases of the heart and blood vessels. In Spain, where – the study was conducted – heart failure is the third cause of death nationwide.

To receive treatment, current clinical guidelines recommend compliance with lifestyle changes, dietary restrictions, and the use of various medications. Unfortunately, the efficacy of these treatments is limited and varies from patient to patient. For this reason, a great economic and scientific effort is put into trying to explain what it results in and how to avoid it.

For the heart to function properly, it must have the ability to contract and produce steady, controlled energy so that all tissues receive the necessary oxygen.

Mitochondria or chondria are a cellular organelle responsible for coordinating both processes (energy production and control of calcium as a regulator of muscle contraction), and it is also the largest cell product of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are considered highly toxic to the cell.

In order to ensure proper function of the cardiac muscle cells, the researchers explain, mitochondria must maintain a correct internal structure and be able to control the overproduction of ROS caused by over-contracting in situations of work, stress, high blood pressure, or other types of stress.

In this research, three models of heart failure presenting with different symptoms were evaluated: chronic tachycardia, chronic hypertension, and myocardial ischemia with its enlargement. Regardless of the type of stress, damage to the heart muscle occurs in all three of these.

In rat experiments, elimination of the OMA1 protease prevents heart failure in the three models studied.

Study participant Rebecca Aisin Perez says: Regardless of the initial cause causing heart failure, the three conditions share common characteristics and include mitochondria.

Thus, in all three cases, an increase in mitochondrial ROS production was induced, followed by changes in the morphology of the inner mitochondrial membrane and loss of the ability to produce energy from mitochondria that lead to myocardial death.

The researchers also saw that in order to stimulate the morphological changes of the inner mitochondrial membrane, activation of the OMA1 protease is required.

The study has shown that in experiments with mice, elimination of the protease OMA1 prevents heart failure in the three studied cases and thus plays a direct role in protecting myocardial cells. The researchers concluded that these results identify OMA1 as a promising therapeutic target for heart failure.



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