Heart Failure & Congestive Heart Failure What is the Difference?

Heart failure can be a complicated issue, especially if a patient needs a thorough investigation. One common query we receive is from those looking to find the difference between heart failure and congestive failure. In short, they are the same, but we thought it would be helpful to provide information on what congestive heart failure is, the types of heart attack someone might have, and how heart failure is diagnosed.

What is a Congestive Heart Attack?

A congestive heart attack is a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when there is congestion in the heart, which stops the flow of blood.

Why was the Term “Congestive” Dropped?

It is simply a case of the word being used less and less over time. The terminology remains the same; it’s just the frequency has dropped.

Are there Other Types of Heart Attack?

Yes and no. While heart attacks all involve some form of congestion in the heart, there are different classifications a heart attack and pain around the heart can fall under. The most common include:

  • Angina
  • ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)
    • This is where the heart’s blood supply is congested to a point due to blockage in the coronary artery, resulting in damage to the heart.
  • Non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI)
    • This is where there is a partial block in blood supply which congests but it does not affect as large an area.

Knowing When You Have a Potential Heart Problem

You can see why an investigation is needed to know whether an individual has had a STEMI or if they have angina.

There is a broad range of symptoms that highlight if someone has a potential heart problem.  The most common of these are:

There are other less common symptoms like coughing, bloating and weight fluctuation, which are all indicators as well.

Symptoms like these can happen independently or build up over time without much notice.

Can Congestive Heart Failure Run in the Family?

There are some inherited genetic risk factors associated with heart failure. In most families, preventive measures can be taken through tests being carried out.

What are the Warning Signs to see a Doctor?

If you, or someone you know experiences the symptoms listed above, and they appear to be getting worse, it is best to see a doctor so tests can be carried out.

When symptoms come on quickly, and it is clear someone is having congestive heart failure, phone 999 or visit the closest A&E department.

How are Congestive Heart Problems Diagnosed?

Standard tests to diagnose heart failure include:

At OneWelbeck, we categorise tests under four main categories:

  • Non-invasive
  • Stress testing
  • Complex Imaging
  • Invasive investigation

You can find out more about the analyses we carry out.

What Happens After Initial Tests Take Place?

Your doctor will take the information and give an idea of what your diagnosis should be. Someone found to have had heart failure will be diagnosed on a sliding scale from Stage 1 to Stage 4.

It may be the case that an individual has other underlying heart problems like Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTs), high blood pressure or Carotid Artery Stenosis.

These are all conditions we diagnose and you can get full information.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about heart-related issues, please get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to discuss how the clinical care team at OneWelbeck Heart Health can help.

How OneWelbeck can help

Here at OneWelbeck, we have a team of cardiology specialists, state of the art facilities and diagnostics, and highly competitive financial packages for self-funding patients as well as those with private health care.

Heart Health