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Did you know some patients are at a higher risk of developing congestive heart failure based on certain medical conditions, physical conditions, or lifestyle choices? Plus, additional health complications can develop in other organs once a patient has reached the point of congestive heart failure.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the risk factors and additional complications of congestive heart failure to help reveal warning signs of this condition.

Risk Factors of Congestive Heart Failure

Several health issues could lead to congestive heart failure. While certain factors are problematic enough to pose a single threat to the heart, many combine to increase the risk of congestive heart failure. Risk factors include:

Alcohol Consumption & Tobacco Use

Those who consistently consume alcohol or use tobacco are likely to weaken their heart and disrupt its normal function, eventually putting themselves at risk of developing congestive heart failure.

Congenital Heart Disease

Patients born with heart complications are more likely to experience congestive heart failure as they age.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Heart Attack

CAD affects the health of the arteries attached to the heart. Narrowed arteries limit the amount of oxygen the heart receives, weakening the muscle to a risky point. A heart attack is a form of CAD that causes sudden damage to the heart and can permanently hinder its ability to pump correctly.

High Blood Pressure, Obesity, and Diabetes

When blood pressure is elevated, the heart must work harder than usual and can tire out faster. Diabetes and obesity affect blood pressure levels, increasing a patient’s risk of developing high blood pressure, CAD, and a weakened heart.

Heart Arrhythmia

Having arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat can threaten the strength of the heart. Fast-paced arrhythmia causes the heart to work overtime, wearing it down faster and increasing the possibility of developing heart failure.

Heart Valve Disease

Heart valve malfunction can cause blood to flow incorrectly, disrupting proper function and weakening the muscle.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes breathing irregularity at night and can create arrhythmia. Improper oxygen intake and irregular heartbeats can both compromise the heart’s health.


Although rare, viruses can cause harm to the heart, weakening it to the point of congestive heart failure.


When the heart can no longer supply blood as it should due to congestive heart failure, other organs throughout the body can suffer. Complications can include:

Heart Valve Damage

Just as heart valve issues can help cause congestive heart failure, healthy heart valves can experience damage after the heart has reached the point of failure. Heart enlargement or high pressure in the heart are the most common causes.


Kidney Damage

Reducing blood flow to the kidneys can cause improper function and lead to kidney failure if not treated.


Liver Damage

A side effect of congestive heart failure is fluid buildup that the liver must process. If the liver cannot handle the amount of fluid in time, the fluid buildup can cause scarring that will ultimately hinder proper liver function. The excess fluid can also overwork the liver, wearing it down faster than usual.

If you suspect you are at risk for congestive heart failure, turn to Middle Georgia Heart for intervention and solutions.

Our cardiovascular specialists can perform a thorough evaluation and create treatment plans to help you reduce your risk of heart failure. Schedule a consultation about your heart with our team today: 478-207-5224

Related Articles:

Congestive Heart Failure Facts

Health Conditions that May Lead to Congestive Heart Failure