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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is congestive heart failure the same as a heart attack?

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    Dr Carmel Nottle

    Exercise Physiologist

    I have been an Accredited Exercise Physiologist since 2006 and I am currently working both as a practicing professional and also as a lecturer teaching … View Profile

    Technically no they are not the same.  To put it simply congestive heart failure is when the heart is not able to pump enough blood to the body.  This is normally due to structure problems with the heart such as stiffening of the walls of the heart or problems with the heart valves.  This can be bad enough that the heart can't pump the blood the body needs even at rest. 
    A heart attack however is when there is a problem with the blood supply to the actual heart itself which causes damage to the heart.  As the heart is a muscle, if the blood supply to part of the heart is restricted or stopped then the muscle doesn't work as well and in some cases part of the heart muscle can actually die.  

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