Heart Health

23 March 2011

Elizabeth Taylor dies of congestive heart failure

US actress Elizabeth Taylor, famous for her striking blue eyes and glittering film career, and, not least, her eight marriages, has died at the age of 79, US media reported.

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US actress Elizabeth Taylor, famous for her striking blue eyes and glittering film career,and, not least, her eight marriages has died at the age of 79, US media reported. The cause of her death is reported to have been congestive heart failure.

In July 2008, she was hospitalised,but her spokesman denied reports that she was close to death, while in 2009, she underwent heart surgery to repair a "leaky valve."

She was admitted to hospital in early February 2011 for "symptoms caused by congestive heart failure," an ongoing condition, said her publicist Sally Morrison.

What is congestive heart failure?

Heart failure means that the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body’s organs and tissues. It is sometimes called “Congestive Cardiac Failure” or CCF, because the failure results in a build-up of fluids in the body, called tissue congestion. This typically affects the lungs, abdomen, liver and lower legs.

Heart failure typically occurs slowly, but may happen very suddenly under certain conditions.

As heart failure develops, the body tries to increase the pumping efficiency by increasing the heart rate, and by retaining sodium (salt) and water. These compensatory steps may initially be of benefit, but eventually worsen the whole situation by contributing to congestion and reducing the percentage of blood pumped with each heartbeat.”

(Health24, March 2011)

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