3 April 2019

Take 3: Worsening heart failure

Cardio

Patients’ inability to stick to fluid restrictions is one of the most common reasons for worsening heart failure according to associate professor John Amerena, a cardiologist from Geelong.

Patients are usually asked to stick to a total fluid intake of one and a half litres per day. This fluid intake is inclusive of water, juice, tea, coffee and any alcohol.

“Sometimes patients find that difficult, especially when the weather is hot,” Dr Amerena said.

He also says alcohol should be avoided altogether in patients with left ventricular dysfunction (LVD). In these patients, heavy alcohol intake increases blood pressure and also fluid volume.

“[LVD patients] don’t tolerate volume loading and blood pressure particularly well. So, we try to minimise alcohol intake in that context,” Dr Amerena said.

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