How long can you live with a weak heart?

How long can you live with a weak heart?

Life expectancy with congestive heart failure varies according to severity, genetics, age, and other variables. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately half of all persons diagnosed with congestive heart failure will live for more than five years. However, fewer than one in four people diagnosed with mild congestive heart failure will live for five years or more. Most patients with severe congestive heart failure will not survive more than two to five years.

People with severe congestive heart failure may be able to live for several more years after their condition has improved with treatment. In some cases, congestive heart failure is so serious that it leads to readmission to the hospital within 90 days after discharge. Research shows that about 40% of people with congestive heart failure are re-admitted within 30 days of being released from the hospital.

The strongest predictor of how long you might live with congestive heart failure is your age when you are diagnosed. On average, persons with moderate congestive heart failure are expected to live about five years following diagnosis. Those who are older at the time of diagnosis and have more severe symptoms can expect to live less than two years. People with mild congestive heart failure can expect to live about eight years after being diagnosed. Those who are older and have more severe symptoms can expect to live even less than two years.

How long can you live with a weak heart muscle?

This implies that about half of all people diagnosed with CHF will live longer than five years. However, only about one in four persons diagnosed with CHF lives more than ten years. Therefore, the average life span for someone diagnosed with this condition is likely to be less than ten years.

The strongest predictor of how long you will live after being diagnosed with heart failure is simply how old you are when you are diagnosed. People who are older than 85 when they are diagnosed with heart failure usually don't live as long as people who are younger than 65. But even among people who are roughly the same age when they are diagnosed, there is a large difference in longevity between those who have heart failure and those who do not. The reason for this is that heart failure is a leading cause of death for people of any age, but it is particularly fatal for adults under 65 years old.

People who have heart failure and get treated with medications or surgery often live longer than people who don't receive these treatments. After surgery to repair damaged heart muscles, about 80% of patients can expect to live for at least five years.

How long can you live with untreated heart failure?

Despite recent advances in congestive heart failure medication, experts say the outlook for patients with the illness remains gloomy, with roughly half having a life expectancy of fewer than five years. Nearly 90% of patients with advanced types of heart failure die within a year. Even if they survive this early period, the chance of living longer without suffering complications from the disease is fairly small. Most people with heart failure can expect to live only about 5 years even after receiving appropriate treatment.

The main cause of death is usually not heart failure itself but other problems related to aging such as infection, sleep apnea, and volume overload. Left untreated, heart failure can lead to pulmonary edema (water in the lungs), low blood pressure, and sudden death due to electrical changes in the heart.

However, some heart failure medications may extend the time between hospitalizations. For example:

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) slow the progression of heart failure by reducing fluid buildup and preventing further damage to the heart muscle. People who take these drugs have been shown to live on average nearly two years longer than those who do not.

Beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure and anxiety and may help prevent sudden death in people with heart failure. They may also reduce the need for hospitalization for these individuals.

About Article Author

Kay Concepcion

Kay Concepcion is a family practitioner who has worked in the field of medicine for over fifteen years. She looks forward to building relationships with her patients, and providing them with compassionate care that will help them feel better.

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