Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition that is usually the result of other underlying conditions. It is important to diagnose the underlying cause, so that the proper treatment can be given.
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There are not always noticeable symptoms for CHF as it develops. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Shortness of breath, especially with activity, or when lying down
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Fatigue and weakness
- Persistent cough or wheezing cough that may be accompanied by white or blood-tinged phlegm
- Rapid weight gain
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Change in urine production (increase or decrease, need to urinate at night)
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased alertness
American Heart Association website. Available at:
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2001.
Heart Failure Online website. Available at:
Mayo Clinic Heart Center website. Available at:
Vasan RS, Benjamin EJ, Levy D. Prevalence, clinical features and prognosis of diastolic heart failure; an epidemiologic perspective.
J Am Coll Cardiol.1995;26:1565.
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