Forget the celebutants, the Brangelinas and the reality stars’Liz Taylor had them all beat for glamour, scandal and talent. On Wednesday, the queen of all things glitzy and sparkly passed away at age 79, reportedly from congestive heart failure. But what is that exactly?
According to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, congestive heart failure (also known as heart failure) occurs when the heart becomes damaged from a condition such as a heart attack or high blood pressure, and is no longer strong enough to pump blood through the body. When this happens, fluid can build up in parts of the body, including the lungs. This congestion in the lungs may lead to shortness of breath and can be life-threatening. It’s estimated that up to 50 percent of people will die from heart failure within five years of diagnosis.
Symptoms include sudden weight gain, loss of appetite and difficulty breathing, to name a few.
While there’s no cure for heart failure, people who have been diagnosed with the condition can manage their symptoms with medical treatment and lifestyle changes, including eating a healthier diet that’s low in sodium and increasing physical activity under physician’s care. Taylor, a long-time smoker, announced her heart failure diagnosis in 2004.
About 500,000 Canadians are currently living with heart failure and that number is rising based on the number of people who have survived heart attacks and other heart conditions.
You can protect your own heart by making simple healthier choices. What positive changes have you made to maintain a healthy heart?