In short, elderly men with known heart conditions tend to develop acute heart failure and it is usually a worsening of their pre-existing condition rather than a sudden onset of acute heart failure with no prior heart disease or risk factors.
It should be noted that AHF is not limited to patients with pre-existing heart conditions, there are also cases where patients may develop sudden signs and symptoms of heart failure as well (de novo acute heart failure).
What exactly is Acute Heart Failure?
Acute heart failure is a clinical syndrome with characteristic signs and symptoms that come about due to the failure of the heart’s function of pumping blood throughout a person’s body. The term “acute” refers to the rapid development of new or worsening of pre-existing signs and symptoms of heart failure.
What’s the Difference Between Acute and Chronic Heart Failure?
The condition of patients who develop heart failure don’t typically return back to the baseline prior to the heart failure. This is because the damage that is done to the heart is usually permanent.
Heart failure is considered “chronic” if a patient has been suffering from heart failure for an extended period of time, additionally, if the patient is treated and their condition does not deteriorate for at least a month, they are considered “stable.”
Heart failure is considered acute if the onset of symptoms occur suddenly, such as in the case of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), where the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart can be affected, causing ischemic injury to the heart.
What Causes Heart Failure?
This condition comes about when there are anatomical (structural) and/ or functional abnormalities within the heart, causing: