Congestive heart failure (CHF), or heart failure, is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to the body's other organs. Congestive heart failure (CHF) affects nearly five million Americans. More than half a million new cases of CHF are diagnosed every year Usually, CHF is caused when the heart has been weakened over time Congestive heart failure (CHF) happens when the heart's weak pumping action causes a buildup of fluid called congestion in your lungs and other body tissues.

Causes of CHF

-- Diabetes- Diabetes is a set of related diseases in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood

-- elevated cholesterol

-- High blood pressure that results in thickening of the heart muscle (left ventricular hypertrophy) Years of uncontrolled high blood pressure damages both heart and blood vessels.

-- loss of heart muscle due to coronary artery disease (heart attack)

-- heart valve disease

-- cardiomyopathy (weak and enlarged heart)

-- When the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body, fluids build up — and that can lead to complication

-- Unhealthy habits, such as smoking and excessive, toxic exposures, like alcohol or cocaine

-- Obesity and lack of activity may contribute to CHF, either directly or indirectly through accompanying high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary artery disease.

The Symptoms of CHF

-- Worsening of shortness of breath with activity.

-- Shortness of breath which now occurs even at rest or with minimal activity

-- More swelling of the ankles

-- Increasing weakness or tiredness

-- Nocturia (an increase in urination at night)

-- Palpitations (feeling the heart beat)

-- Oliguria (decreased urine output)

-- Unexplained or unintentional rapid weight gain

-- Distended (swollen) neck veins

-- Loss of appetite, indigestion

-- Cold, diaphoretic (sweaty) dusky colored skin

Role of Viagra in CHF

Not only is Viagra safe for men with congestive heart failure (CHF), it improves their ability to exercise, says research from Brazilian scientists. In the process, it may increase compliance with heart failure drugs, improving prognosis and generally improving quality of life. Men with congestive heart failure and erectile dysfunction (ED) safely used sildenafil (Viagra) to improve sexual function in a study reported in rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The popular medication may even make patients more likely to take their heart failure drugs, says author Edimar Alcides Bocchi, M.D., associate professor and chief of the heart failure clinics at the Sao Paulo University Medical School in Brazil.

The combination of congestive heart failure and erectile dysfunction can often cause depression, but the drug, Viagra, can safely work to improve all three disorders, says a new study out of the University of Alberta.

The research team—Dr. Evangelos Michelakis and Webster’s supervisor Dr. Stephen Archer, from the Department of Medicine, and Dr. Terry Davis, from the Faculty of Nursing—ensured that participants first underwent an exercise stress test and take a first dose of Viagra in a clinic setting in order to monitor blood pressure response to be eligible for the study. They found that for those men with moderate to moderately severe CHF, Viagra is not only safe but it lowers blood pressure as well. It is less costly and is associated with fewer side affects than existing treatments for CHF.

Those treated with sildenafil had significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate and improvement in measures of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production compared with those on placebo. Total exercise time also increased significantly. A separate evaluation showed that treatment with sildenafil was associated with higher scores on a questionnaire related to erectile function.

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