Harvard Health Letter

Conversation with a Harvard doctor: Talking about heart failure

Dr. Lynne Warner Stevenson is a Harvard Medical School professor and director of the heart failure program within the Advanced Heart Disease Section at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Heart failure — that's such a scary term.

Heart failure, unfortunately, creates this vision in people's minds of the heart just stopping. A better term might be a handicapped heart, which either doesn't pump very well or doesn't receive blood well.

It's also important to understand that there are two types of heart failure. I sometimes explain it as weak-heart heart failure and stiff-heart heart failure.

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