DrKumo Best RPM
Connected Health Technology

Distinguishing a Heart Attack from Heart Failure: What You Need to Know

Share this post:

Heart attack & heart failure have different causes/symptoms. Knowing the difference is crucial for treatment. Learn how to identify signs/symptoms in this article.
nurse and patient distinguishing heart attack from a heart failure
Table of Contents

Explanation of Heart Attack and Heart Failure

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, often by a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply the heart with blood. Without sufficient blood flow, the heart muscle can become damaged or die. A heart attack is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment to prevent further damage to the heart.

Heart failure, on the other hand, is a chronic condition in which the heart is not able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This can be due to a variety of causes, such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or damage to the heart muscle from a heart attack. Heart failure can develop gradually over time, and while it can be managed with treatment, it is a serious condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.

What Distinguishes a Heart Attack from Heart Failure

Distinguishing between heart attack and heart failure is important because while both conditions can impact the heart, they are very different in terms of their causes, symptoms, and treatments.

A heart attack is a sudden and potentially life-threatening event that requires immediate medical attention. On the other hand, heart failure is a chronic condition that can often be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.

Early detection and proper diagnosis are crucial in ensuring that individuals receive the appropriate treatment for their condition. Additionally, by understanding the differences between heart attack and heart failure, individuals can better recognize the warning signs of each condition and take appropriate action to seek medical attention when necessary. This can be particularly important for individuals who are at higher risk for heart disease, as early detection and treatment can help to prevent more serious complications from developing.

Heart Attack Symptoms

The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort: This is the most common symptom of a heart attack, and it may feel like tightness, pressure, squeezing, or fullness in the chest. The pain or discomfort may also spread to the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath: Feeling short of breath, especially with exertion or at rest, can be a sign of a heart attack.
  • Sweating: Some people may break out in a cold sweat or feel clammy during a heart attack.
  • Nausea or vomiting: Some people may feel sick to their stomach or may vomit during a heart attack.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or dizzy can be a sign of a heart attack.
  • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or weak, especially with exertion, can be a sign of a heart attack.

It’s important to note that not everyone experiences the same symptoms during a heart attack, and some people may have no symptoms at all. Women, in particular, may experience different or more subtle symptoms than men.

Heart Failure Symptoms

The most common symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath: Feeling short of breath, especially with exertion or at rest, is a common symptom of heart failure. This can be due to a buildup of fluid in the lungs or decreased blood flow to the lungs.
  • Fatigue and weakness: Feeling unusually tired or weak, especially with exertion, can be a symptom of heart failure.
  • Swelling: Heart failure can cause fluid to accumulate in the legs, ankles, and feet, causing swelling.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat: Heart failure can cause the heart to beat too fast or irregularly.
  • Persistent cough or wheezing: Heart failure can cause fluid to accumulate in the lungs, leading to a persistent cough or wheezing.
  • Reduced ability to exercise: Heart failure can make it difficult to perform physical activities or exercise.

Risk Factors for Heart Attack and Heart Failure

There are several risk factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing heart attack and heart failure.

Risk factors for heart attack include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

Risk factors for heart failure include:

  • Age
  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea

By managing these risk factors through lifestyle changes and medical treatment, individuals can reduce their risk for heart attack and heart failure.

Heart Failure Treatment

The treatment for heart attack and heart failure can differ depending on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause.
Treatment for a heart attack may include:

  • Medications: This can include blood thinners, pain relievers, and medications to reduce the workload on the heart.
  • Procedures: Procedures like angioplasty, stenting, or coronary artery bypass surgery may be necessary to restore blood flow to the heart.
  • Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating a heart-healthy diet, and getting regular exercise can help to prevent future heart attacks.

Treatment for heart failure may include:

  • Medications: Medications like ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and diuretics can help to reduce the workload on the heart and control symptoms.
  • Devices: Devices like pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) may be necessary to regulate the heart’s rhythm.
  • Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, limiting salt intake, and getting regular exercise can help to manage symptoms and prevent complications.

In some cases, heart failure may progress to the point where a heart transplant is necessary. Remote patient monitoring can also be helpful in managing these conditions, allowing healthcare providers to monitor symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.

DrKumo Remote Patient Monitoring for Patients with Heart Conditions

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a healthcare service that uses technology to monitor patients’ health remotely, such as through wearable devices or sensors. RPM can be used to monitor patients with various chronic conditions, including heart disease. This is where RPM can help. Both heart attack and heart failure are reimbursable by Medicare’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for remote patient monitoring. These codes are used by healthcare providers to bill Medicare for RPM services provided to their patients.

DrKumo is a technology leader in highly scalable, continuous, real-time remote patient monitoring solution that provide the best effective solutions to both patients and healthcare providers by fostering an innovative, collaborative, and technology-driven culture. With DrKumo RPM Solutions, patients can receive better quality care while reducing costs associated with frequent visits and hospital stays.


Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is crucial for reducing the risk of heart disease. Tips for maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle include regular exercise, a healthy diet, limiting alcohol and quitting smoking, and managing stress. Remote patient monitoring can contribute to heart health by allowing healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs and identify potential health issues early. Benefits of remote patient monitoring for individuals at risk of heart disease include early detection, improved adherence, and convenience. Remote patient monitoring has great potential for early detection and prevention of heart disease, and it is essential to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle and work with healthcare providers to ensure good heart health.

DrKumo is a leading provider of secured remote patient monitoring technology solutions for the healthcare industry. Consider RPM to better manage your heart condition. If you think you may be in need of our services, contact us today.

Share this post:

Revolutionize your healthcare with real-time

Remote Patient Monitoring

and elevate patient outcomes today.

Related Posts

independence day 2023
happy flag day 2023
On this Flag Day, we salute the spirit of our great nation! 🎉 As we embrace unity and freedom, let us honor the symbol that represents our shared values. Happy Flag Day! 🎆✨ #FlagDay #ProudAmerican #DrKumo #RemotePatientMonitoring
remembering d-day 2023
memorial day 2023

Memorial Day: A Day of Gratitude and Honor
Today, we pause to remember and express our heartfelt gratitude to our Veterans. Their service to our nation is beyond compare, and their loved ones’ sacrifices are immeasurable. We recall the words of Ronald Reagan, “Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden.” We take immense pride in having the privilege of serving you, and on this day, we salute you. Thank you, Veterans, and their families for your service and sacrifices.

Free Initial Consultation

Get a free 30-45 minutes consultation with one of our DrKumo RPM experts to learn everything you need to know about Remote Patient Monitoring and how you can make your RPM program successful.

To start please fill out the form and we will get in touch with you shortly.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.