Canadian researchers have found out how the heart fails, and hope that this may make it easier to treat the condition.
The researchers have worked to find out how the metabolic pathways differentiate in healthy versus failing hearts. They had found that in the early stages of heart failure, the heart uses too much fatty acid and not enough carbohydrate; and then, later, it doesn't use enough fat.
Gary Lopaschuk, a pharmacologist and professor in the University of Alberta Department of Pediatrics, and his colleagues say they've discovered that the type of "fuel" the heart uses can contribute to the severity of heart failures.
Normally, a heart derives energy from a balance of fatty acids and carbohydrates, specifically glucose.
"Many forms of heart diseases have many pharmacological therapeutic approaches to treat it," Lopaschuk said. "But heart failure is a difficult one.
"If you're diagnosed with heart failure, your five-year prognosis isn't good; there's a high likelihood of mortality," he said. "So there's a major push to find new approaches to treat heart failure."
He said heart failure does not necessarily mean the heart completely fails, but rather is a condition in which the heart fails to provide itself with enough blood under certain conditions.
The research will be published in the July edition of Physiological Reviews.
Medindia on heart failure- further information
Heart failure: This is the condition in which the heart loses the ability to pump blood normally. This condition is also known as congestive heart failure. This may be chronic condition or may develop suddenly. In this condition the organs are unable to receive their share of oxygen and nutrients and thus may not function to their fullest capacities. Most function of the body can be affected by the condition of heart failure.