Fast Five Quiz: Heart Failure Management

Yasmine S. Ali, MD


September 11, 2019

Nonpharmacologic management guidelines from the ACCF/AHA, HFSA, and ESC regarding care of patients with chronic heart failure recommend regular aerobic exercise and a sodium-restricted and fluid-restricted diet. Regular aerobic exercise improves functional capacity and symptoms; however, during acute exacerbations, activity limitations are reasonable.

For patients with hyponatremia and patients in whom fluid balance is difficult to control despite sodium restriction and high-dose diuretic treatment, the ACCF/AHA and HFSA recommend restricting dietary sodium intake to 2-3 grams daily and limiting fluid intake to 2 L daily.

In addition to the foregoing recommendations, for cases of suspected early heart failure, guidelines from the ACCF/AHA, HFSA, and ESC recommend the following preventive measures to reduce patient risk factors:

  • Treating underlying cardiac risk factors, including hypertension and lipid disorders

  • Smoking cessation

  • Controlling and/or preventing diabetes

  • Engaging in physical activity

  • Reducing weight for patients who are obese or overweight

Bed rest, limited consumption of unprocessed foods, daily heavy labor, no dietary limitations, weight lifting, and participating in marathons are not appropriate recommendations for patients with chronic heart failure.

For more on nonpharmacologic therapy for heart failure, read here.


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