Congestive heart failure is a syndrome characterized by decreased cardiac output with consequent neurohormonal activation leading to water and salt retention. This ultimately results in pulmonary and vascular congestion with eventual organ hypoperfusion and death. Often described as a "vicious cycle", congestive heart failure is responsible for more than 40,000 deaths per year in the United States and plays a substantial role in another 250,000 deaths; it takes a financial toll as well, with approximately $34 billion spent each year on the medical care of patients. The key to ending this vicious cycle is applied research. The Department of Cardiology within The Methodist Hospital is conducting research aimed at understanding heart failure and working towards therapies to improve patient care.
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