Is congestive heart failure hereditary?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Is Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) hereditary? My Mom passed away from it and several of her siblings. I was diagnosed with early CHF and am taking medicine for it.

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is not really a hereditary condition.  However, many of the diseases that can cause CHF do run in families.  Examples of diseases that can lead to CHF and are hereditary include heart valve abnormalities, coronary artery disease, and hypertension (high blood pressure).  

Since you have "early" CHF, it is important that you take good care of yourself.  Make sure your blood pressure is well controlled, and that you get some regular exercise.  Follow up with your health care provider regularly so that you can keep your symptoms manageable.