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Congestive Heart Failure

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Updated January 31, 2007

Definition: A condition where the pumping efficiency of the heart is decreased and the supply of blood to the body is reduced.

Congestive heart failure (CHF) has a number of potential causes, including:

The reduced efficiency of the heart causes blood to back up in the circulatory system, leading to "congestion" in the tissues. This congestion is often manifested as swelling in the legs and ankles. It can also cause fluid to accumulate in the lungs, leading to breathing problems.

Also Known As: CHF, Heart Failure
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