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How to diagnose heart failure?

Researchers at the University of Texas say that physical examination gives two distinct signs that signal heart failure. Generally the power of the simple physical examination is forgotten by many. But doctors at the Heart Failure Research Unit at the University of Texas now reveal that two signs in a physical exam are highly relevant to heart failure.//

In a healthy adult, only two heart sounds ('lub-dub') are detected; a third heart sound, known as 'gallop', is found to indicate a malfunctioning heart. A second significant sign is elevated jugular venous pressure - by observing pulsations in the jugular vein in the neck. Increased pressure may indicate that the patient with heart failure is retaining excess fluid.

These new findings should direct physicians' attention towards simple measures that can detect those patients most at risk. In this study, these two signs heralded an increased risk of death from heart failure.


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