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Congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs when your heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it should. Certain conditions, such as narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure, gradually leaves your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently. Heart failure can be ongoing (chronic), or your condition may start suddenly (acute).


Heart failure signs and symptoms may include: shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you exert yourself or when you lie down, swelling (edema) in your legs, reduced ability to exercise, or very rapid weight gain from fluid retention.


Not all conditions that lead to heart failure can be reversed, but treatments can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer. Lifestyle changes — such as exercising, reducing sodium in your diet, managing stress and losing weight — can improve your quality of life.

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