NEW YORK, July 24 (Praxis Press) Left ventricular systolic function is preserved in many patients with symptoms of heart failure, often prompting a diagnosis of diastolic heart failure. Caruana and colleagues evaluated underlying causes of symptoms in patients referred for echocardiography because of suspected heart failure. In 94% of patients who did not have left ventricular systolic dysfunction, valvular disease, or atrial fibrillation, symptoms suggestive of heart failure were traced to obesity, lung disease, and myocardial ischemia. The vast majority of patients with suspected diastolic heart failure have other conditions that explain their symptoms.

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