Harvard Heart Letter

5 Action Steps for Early Heart Failure

Early heart failure may be mild but can worsen quickly. Learn what you can do to keep symptoms in check.

Heart failure may start with injury from a heart attack, develop as a result of damaged valves, or be brought on by underlying disease. Many times, it is the product of years of toil by the heart against high blood pressure and clogged arteries. Regardless of what sets the process in motion, heart failure culminates in a progressive weakening of your heart's power to pump. Consequently, blood circulates through your heart and body more slowly; your cells thirst for fresh oxygen and nutrients.



Photos: Thinkstock

Exercise, weight loss, and a low-sodium diet can help you live a healthy life with early-stage heart failure.

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