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What Is Heart Failure?

An estimated 26 million people worldwide suffer from heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure.1 Heart failure means the heart cannot work efficiently – it is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the body’s needs. It can also cause blood to back up in the veins, in the lungs, legs or abdomen. A lack of oxygen causes the patient to be excessively tired and weak. The congestion of blood leads the body to retain water, which can result in shortness of breath, coughing, swelling in the legs, and fluid in the abdomen. Acute heart failure develops within a few hours or days, while chronic heart failure persists for weeks, months or years.

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