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Heart Failure Rates in U.S. on the Rise

While the fatality rate from cardiac disease is on its way down across the United States, the rates of heart failure are increasing. That information comes from a new report by the American Heart Association, which also finds that cardiac disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States.

According to the report, over a period of just five years, the number of Americans who suffer from heart failure increased by 800,000. In fact, according to the American Heart Association (AMA), over the next few years, that rate is expected to increase further. By 2030, the rate of heart failure in the US is expected to increase by a staggering 46%. Approximately 8,000,000 people by that time will suffer from some degree of heart failure. At special risk are seniors and survivors of heart attacks, who constitute the most at-risk groups for heart failure.

A person who suffers from heart failure will typically encounter a number of complications that severely impact his or her health. For instance, heart failure increases the risk of blood leaking into other organs, including the liver and lungs. Persons, who suffer from heart failure may also experience shortness of breath, frequent swelling of the extremities, accelerated heart rate, confusion, disorientation, severe cough, and accumulation of body fluids. Furthermore, symptoms of heart failure tend to worsen over time.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists heart failure under Section 4.00. In order to qualify for benefits due to heart failure, you must currently be under a treatment program for heart failure, and must also have a diagnosis of chronic heart failure. If you do not meet the criteria as laid out in the listing, you may still be eligible for benefits under the vocational medical allowance criteria, which will consider a number of factors, including the intensity of your symptoms, educational levels, age, and work history, to determine whether you qualify for benefits.