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"Is my congestive heart failure hereditary?"

ZocdocAnswersIs my congestive heart failure hereditary?


I cannot believe that I have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I have not had any symptoms of heart issues until now, 30 years later. My dad had several heart attacks, and when he passed away a few years ago, the reason for his death listed on his death certificate was ""edema, fluid in the lungs and around the heart."" This sound a lot like the symptoms of congestive heart failure to me. When my brother passed away three years ago, it was due to fluid around the heart. Is my congestive heart failure hereditary, or does it have to do with how much you abuse your body, control your weight, and your lifestyle?


Congestive heart failure is a very common medical condition and effects millions of Americans. There is a wide range of types of heart failure, and with them there is a wide range of treatments. I would recommend you discuss this with your heart doctor (cardiologist). Occasionally, patients with unique or severe heart failure conditions can see a special type of cardiologist who sees patients with advanced heart failure. To answer your question -- maybe. There are many types of congestive heart failure, some of which are hereditary and some of which are related to the environment. For most patients, the actual nature of the heart failure is a combination of both hereditary and environmental causes. To put it another way, most patients with heart failure have some genes in their family that predisposes them to heart failure -- and if they "abuse" there body then they are more susceptible to the heart failure than someone who did not have those genes. The most common cause of heart failure is having a heart attack (or multiple heart attacks) that weaken the heart. Heart attacks as well can be hereditary or environmental. Talk to your cardiologist for more information. Likely both hereditary and enviromental causes are important.

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