Fast Five Quiz: Causes of Heart Failure

Yasmine S. Ali, MD


January 05, 2022

Cardioinhibitory drugs, or cardiac depressants, depress cardiac function by decreasing heart rate, myocardial contractility, or both, which diminishes cardiac output and arterial pressure. These cardiac changes reduce the work of the heart and myocardial oxygen consumption. The mechanisms of action of these drugs also lead to depressed electrical conduction within the heart. Some of these drugs may also impair relaxation. The administration of cardiac depressants drugs or drugs that cause salt retention may lead to HF in certain patients. In addition, intense, protracted physical exertion or severe fatigue, such as that experienced during prolonged travel or emotional crisis, is a fairly common precipitant of cardiac decompensation. Exposure to severe climate change (ie, a hot, humid environment or a bitterly cold one) can be a precipitating cause of HF.

Anemia has been shown to be a precipitating factor for HF hospitalization as well as increased HF-associated mortality.

Learn more about precipitating causes of HF.


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