It is a known fact that cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, coronary heart disease, etc., can cause serious health risks. When it comes to heart failure and heart attack, both medical conditions are related but are not the same. Oftentimes, people get confused with these two terms and use them incorrectly. While the causes and effects of both conditions are the same, they are distinct health issues. Let us understand how heart failure and heart attack differ from one another with the best Cardiovascular Doctor explaining the difference between Heart Failure and Heart Attack.

What is the Difference Between Heart Failure and heart attack?

Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, is a chronic medical condition. This means that this issue develops slowly over a long period. Heart failure is said to occur when the heart muscle fails to pump enough blood to meet the demands of the body. Narrowed coronary arteries with high blood pressure make the heart weak, blocked or stiff due to which there is improper pumping of blood.

A heart attack occurs due to the blockage of arteries by fatty deposits known as plaques. Formation of blood clot due to the rupture of plaques further blocks the arteries. This may often lead to a heart attack. It is also known as myocardial infarction that occurs suddenly. In some cases, parts of the heart muscles die due to lack of blood supply. This health condition can be fatal if immediate medical attention is not available for the patient.

What are the causes of Heart Failure and Heart Attack?

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is weak or stiff. Listed below are the causes of heart failure:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • History of heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • High Blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Heart muscle disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Other factors
  1. Anemia, low red blood cell count causes cardiac stress as the heart has to work harder to carry oxygen to the body by rapidly moving a smaller number of cells.
  2. Hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland causes the body to work at a faster pace, hence the heart has to work faster, gradually leading to a weak heart.
  3. Abnormal heart rhythm means irregular heartbeats. As this occurs, the heart is unable to pump the required quantity of blood in the body.

What are the treatments for heart failure and heart attack?

Treatment for heart failure is lifelong but with the right approach the symptoms can improve and the heart muscle can be strengthened. Treatment options for heart failure are:

  • Medication to lower blood pressure, normalize the heartbeat, reduce edema, manage breathing problems, etc.
  • Surgery can be suggested based on your condition:
  1. Coronary artery bypass surgery.
  2. Heart valve repair or replacement.
  3. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs)
  4. Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT), or Biventricular pacing
  5. Heart Transplant

As per Dr. Sanjay Kumar– best Cardiovascular doctor, a heart attack needs immediate medical attention as each minute counts because restoring blood flow is important to prevent heart damage. Treatment options for heart attack are:

  • Medication is given to prevent further blood clots and to restore blood flow.
  • Medication to lower and control cholesterol, blood pressure, and anxiety.
  • Surgical procedure might be recommended based on your condition:
  1. Coronary angioplasty and stenting: It is also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in which the blockage is removed and the blood flow is restored. Along with this, a stent is placed to keep the vessel intact.
  2. Coronary artery bypass surgery: Bypass surgery can be recommended after a few days of the heart attack or an emergency bypass surgery can be planned at the time of heart attack. This is to ensure that the blood flow is restored.

Both heart failure and heart attack are serious forms of heart conditions and both need to be treated by experienced specialists and surgeons. Dr. Sanjay Kumar is one such best Cardiovascular Doctor. The causes of heart failure and heart attack are similar but the consequences can vary from one patient to another. Heart failure happens gradually over some time while a heart attack is sudden and unexpected.