Can seizures cause heart failure?

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Submitted by Dr T on July 2, 2011 – 7:59am

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Question: 
My husband has had seizures for thirty years and suddenly died of a heart failure Aug.9, 2010, could his seizures had weakened his heart throughout the years?

It is unlikely your husband’s seizures had much to do with his heart unless there were rhythm problems demonstrated during an attack. It is more likely that your husband had a problem like coronary artery disease (CAD) in addition to his long-standing seizure disorder. You can check here whether he was at risk for CAD:
https://www.cardiachealth.org/risks-benefits/cardiovascular-risk

Seizures are symptoms of abnormal brain function, while heart failure means that the heart isn’t pumping properly. Your body depends on the heart’s normal pumping action to deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the rest of your body.
With heart failure, your  weakened heart can’t supply your body with enough blood. If this results in an insufficient blood flow to your brain, it may cause a transient loss of consciousness (fainting or “syncope”), or even a seizure.

People who faint may occasionally have a seizure-like activity (namely, muscle jerking) as happens in some patients with epilepsy. During a seizure occasionally heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) may occur and expose patients to the risk of Sudden Death. Arrhythmias may also occur in patients with heart failure.

The most common causes of heart failure include Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), hypertension and  heart valve disease:
https://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-information/heart-failure

You can read more here:
https://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-information/heart-arrhythmia
https://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-information/heart-arrhythmia/sudden

Hope this helps,
Dr T
https://www.cardiachealth.org/

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