Ward MM Newsletter February 2017
We all know that the heart plays an essential physiological role in delivering oxygenated blood and nutrients to tissues and organs. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), also commonly known as Congestive Cardiac Failure (CCF) happens when the heart muscle becomes weakened or damaged and cannot pump blood as efficiently as normal. There are many causes of CHF, but can include hypertension or ischaemia secondary to coronary heart disease (for example, after a myocardial infarction), post-viral myopathy, or drug-induced effects (e.g. cardiomyopathy secondary to cancer chemotherapy or clozapine treatment). Other factors which may contribute to heart failure include diabetes, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmias, valvular heart disease, pulmonary embolism, infection, anaemia, thyroid dysfunction, obesity, cigarette smoking, high dietary salt and saturated fat and lack of physical activity. Heart failure is known to cause significant economic burden and costs the health system in excess of $1 billion/year. The prevalence of heart failure is on the rise and is
substantially higher in rural and remote locations, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 1.7 times more likely to develop heart failure compared to other Australians. The risk of developing heart failure rises significantly with age, with an incidence of over 10% for those aged >65 years, rising to > 50% for those aged >85 years.