Congestive Heart Failure


CongestiveHeart Failure


Congestive heart failure refers to a chronic condition that impairsthe heart’s ability to pump blood (Sullivan, 2015). Consequently,the body lacks sufficient nutrients and oxygen to drive itsprocesses. The enhanced difficulty of pumping causes the organ’schambers to become thickened and stiff. Gradually, the cardiac wallsweaken and become less efficient. In response, the kidneys causefluid to be retained in the lungs, limbs, and other organs (Sullivan,2015). Congestive heart failure is caused by various conditions suchas diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, and coronary arterydisease. The condition manifests through symptoms such as congestedlungs, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and fluid retention (Sullivan,2015). Therefore, it is crucial to examine ways in which theprogressive condition can be prevented.

HHSPrevention Strategy

The Million Hearts Initiative seeks to prevent the incidence ofclinical heart disease. In this regard, four fundamental methods areused to reduce the rates of occurrence (HHS, 2016). For example,cholesterol management helps to eliminate constrictions in bloodvessels that impede blood flow. Also, smoking cessation is concernedwith reducing the rates of tobacco use. Other methods include bloodpressure control and appropriate aspirin therapy. Furthermore, theinitiative promotes healthier communities and lifestyles (HHS, 2016).Community health is enhanced using educational programs to raiseawareness about prevention of heart disease.

Health information technology is used to regulate and improve thecare standards of cholesterol and high blood pressure. Moreover, theinitiative is deeply involved with efforts to popularize eco-friendlypolicies. Some of these programs seek to ensure smoke-free air andfewer sodium particles in the food supply. The program’s missiontargets adults since they comprise the majority of people that sufferheart diseases. In fact, congestive heart failure is mostly caused bylifestyle choices that have had cumulative effects over an extendedperiod (HHS, 2016). Therefore, adults beyond 35 years of age form thetarget group.

HealthPromotion/Wellness: Background &amp Cultural Significance

Congestive heart failure may lead to death, disability, and a reducedquality of life. Adults could also suffer a stroke that culminates inemotional problems and speech difficulties. Depression and fatigueare also probable consequences that limit a person’s ability toengage in strenuous activities. In the United States, one in threedeaths is attributed to congestive heart failure. Over one millioncases of heart failure are reported each year. An upward of 800,000people succumbs to cardiovascular complications every year (MillionHearts, 2016). In fact, the number of individuals who perish fromheart diseases matches those that die of respiratory illness, cancer,and accidents. Families that suffer cardiovascular disease areweighed down by steep medical bills. In the instances where familyheads are incapacitated, the family loses their source of livelihood.Inevitably, lost wages are reflected in a diminished standard ofliving. In 2010, heart failure was the most potent killer diseaseamong both men and women (Million Hearts, 2016). Most of theadmissions and readmissions of people beyond 65 years of age can beattributed to heart failure.

Furthermore, congestive heart failure has a monumental effect on thehealth care system. Reliable statistics estimate that a sixth of themoney budgeted for health care is spent on heart-related diseases. In2011, cardiovascular complications cost the American economy $316.6billion in lost productivity and health care costs (Million Hearts,2016). Besides, congestive heart failure is the primary cause ofreadmissions in health care facilities. Medicare spends over $15billion each year on cardiovascular diseases, which accounts forabout 20% of total expenditure (Million Hearts, 2016). Current trendspresent cause for concern for the sake of future generations. Forexample, by 2020, aging is expected to produce a steady rise in theincidence and prevalence of heart disease (Million Hearts, 2016).Although improvements in public health will cause longer life spans,cardiovascular diseases are projected to become the leading cause ofdisabilities and deaths.

ProgramGoals/ Interventions

The program has several goals concerned with preventing congestiveheart failure. For example, the initiative seeks to increase theoverall cardiovascular health of the American population.Furthermore, the program aims to reduce the number of coronary heartdisease deaths from 129.2 per 100,000 people to 103.4 per 100,000.The number of stroke deaths should also reduce from 43.5 per 100,000to 34.8 per 100,000 people (ODPHP, 2016). The initiative aims toincrease the percentage of adults who measured their blood pressurewithin two years from 90.6% to 92.6% (ODPHP, 2016). In addition, theproportion of individuals with hypertension should reduce from 29.9%in adults and 3.5% in children to 26.9% and 3.2%, respectively. Thepercentage of adults who had checked blood cholesterol levels shouldincrease from 74.6% to 82.1% (ODPHP, 2016). Additionally, theinitiative seeks to reduce the proportion of persons with highcholesterol and hypertension. Another goal involves the increase ofaspirin use among patients with no previous history of heart failure(ODPHP, 2016). Americans also need to be educated on how to identifyand respond to signs of cardiac arrest.

The goals are achieved through the use of baselines and targets. Abaseline year and standard population are established to serve as thefocal point of comparison. Subsequent figures and statistics areevaluated with reference to the baseline. Also, the program setsreasonable, attainable, and measurable targets in its approach. Inaddition, a target-setting method is used to evaluate the extent ofprogress (ODPHP, 2016). Several organizations are involved in theMillion Hearts program. For instance, the National Center for HealthStatistics (NCHS) and the National Health and Nutrition ExaminationSurvey (NHANES) examine the progress made through the use ofanalysis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide aframework through which the program forms and implements actionplans. Other relevant organizations include the American College ofCardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) (ODPHP,2016).


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has proposed plentyof recommendations to improve primary health care. The reportsdeveloped by the task force have been instrumental in the making ofhealth care policies. Both consumers and professionals have derivedmany benefits from the work of the USPSTF. In June 2014, the taskforce recommended screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) formen beyond 65 years of age who had smoked in the past (USPSTF, 2014).On the other hand, men who had never smoked could undergo selectivescreening since their likelihood of developing complications was low.Nevertheless, the potential harms and benefits for women who hadpreviously smoked could not be ascertained using current evidence.The report also discouraged the use of routine screening for womenthat had never smoked (USPSTF, 2014). The USPSTF also formulated areport advocating against the use of screening for asymptomaticcarotid artery stenosis when applied to the general population(USPSTF, 2014).

Another report concerned the use of vitamin supplements to preventcardiovascular diseases. The merits and demerits of usingmultivitamins could not be distinguished due to insufficient evidence(USPSTF, 2014). Available evidence was also incapable ofdifferentiating the effects of single and paired-nutrient supplementsin preventing heart failure. Therefore, the USPSTF discouraged theuse of multivitamin supplements to allay the occurrence ofcardiovascular diseases (USPSTF, 2014). The Community PreventiveServices Task Force established technology-supported methods to usein maintaining weight loss (CPSTF, 2013). In this respect,controlling obesity would help to lower the risk of developingcongestive heart failure.

Assessmentof Resources

Various resources are required to sustain the programs laid out bythe Million Hearts initiative. For example, Federal funds are neededto finance research and development. It is important to developbetter forms of treatment for congestive heart failure. Also, ithelps to identify additional risk factors that lead to the conditionso as to limit its prevalence. As stated, a significant portion ofthe funds dedicated to health care is used to combat cardiovascularcomplications (Million Hearts, 2016). Moreover, hospitals and othermedical facilities are required to handle cases of admissions andreadmissions.

After treatment has been provided, it is also essential toaccommodate patients beyond 65 years of age with extended periods ofstay. Notably, most of the admissions for people between 65-75 yearsold have been due to heart failure. Other organizations such as theACC and AHA contribute to the prevention of heart disease throughproviding educational material and free check-up clinics. Suchinitiatives are made available to people from various regions (CPSTF,2013). Consequently, there is adequate access to essential resources.

Barriersto Change/Implementation

Granted, there are several obstacles to the implementation ofprograms initiated by the Million Hearts Initiative. For example,financial constraints limit the amount of research conducted on heartdisease (USPSTF, 2016). Insufficient capital also hinders thecollection of data and statistics to estimate the occurrence ofcardiovascular diseases. Conducting partial research has providedfalse assumptions that frustrate the prevention of heart failure. Thegovernment also needs to ensure that various departments associatedwith health care are adequately funded. Diverting funds to battleailments such as HIV/AIDS and other infections is necessary toimprove the overall community health. Additionally, many admissionsand readmissions occur due to heart-related conditions. Some healthcare providers prefer to use their hospital facilities to care forpatients who may have better chances of recovery. Utilizing plenty ofresources to serve non-productive persons does not appeal to manypractitioners (USPSTF, 2016). Therefore, it is challenging tonegotiate for the designation of particular beds to be used inheart-related admissions.


Indeed, congestive heart failure is a debilitating condition thatoccurs due to genetic and acquired factors. The progressive nature ofthe condition leads to disability or death. In many instances,survivors are forced to deal with life-long complications. Suchoutcomes place a high value on limiting the incidence of congestiveheart failure. In this regard, the Million Hearts Initiative waslaunched to improve the quality of life and cardiovascular health.The detection and treatment of heart-related complications wouldreduce the number of deaths occurring on a yearly basis. Moreover,preventing the occurrence of heart diseases would lower the costsincurred in treatment. Early identification improves the chances ofmaking a permanent recovery. Adults form the target group of theprograms spearheaded by the Million Hearts Initiative.

The community is greatly affected by heart failure in that familyheads lose their jobs as they submit to extended hospital stays.Paying medical bills puts additional strain on financial resources.The health care industry also incurs heavy costs in providinghospitals and other facilities. However, the program has establishedvarious goals that are carried out using baselines, targets, andtarget-setting methods. The USPSTF provides evidence-based literatureuseful in highlighting the potential causes for heart failure.Available literature also shows the effects of proposed remedies ondifferent segments of the population. Financial and practicalresources are required to improve the prevention of heart disease.Limited funds have formed barriers to the effectiveness of theprograms formulated by the Million Hearts Initiative. Nonetheless,congestive heart failure remains a serious complication in moderntimes.


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