Does congestive heart failure have something to do with the heart being unable to pump enough oxygen rich blood through the body?
Dr. Alfred Bove:
Yes, let me prefix my comments with the fact that these are my personal comments and don't represent anything from the American College of Cardiology. So, heart failure is a very interesting area in cardiology because it's a disease of older individuals and with the population aging and this thing we call 'the baby boomer' upon us with large numbers of people reaching age 65 and above, the amount of patients of heart failure is increasing pretty substantially and some people estimate that there'll be an increase in 10 percent of patients per year with heart failure.
Over four million people now have heart failure, so it's a very important issue and a very big issue. It is related to the fact that the heart does not pump enough blood around the circulation although I will say there's a new concept, not even new but the concept is becoming, we're becoming more aware of, that has to do with the heart getting stiffer.
That is, it's not so much that it doesn't pump the blood around appropriate but its pressure backs up and congests the lung. So you can have lung congestion in a stiff heart while at the same time the heart is pumping appropriately.
So there are two kinds of heart failure. We call one, heart failure with reduced blood ventricular function and heart failure with preserved blood ventricular function and for this interview it's particularly relevant because older women seem to be the largest population of people that have this problem of heart failure with preserved ventricular function.
Dr. Alfred Bove, MD, PhD is a Temple University professor emeritus of medicine, and their section chief of cardiology. Dr. Bove practices clinical cardiology with particular emphasis on heart failure, heart transplantation and he’s the Vice President of the American College of Cardiology.