Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor, who was hospitalized with congestive heart failure earlier in the week, may have limited options to treat the disease given her long medical history and advancing age.
Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body’s other organs to sustain them.
It can be caused by a range of issues from coronary artery disease to high blood pressure and infections. It’s a leading cause of death in people over 65.
Taylor, 78, has a long history of serious medical problems which may be complicating her condition. She underwent heart surgery in 2009 to replace a leaky valve.
The two-time Oscar winner was was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after suffering from intense abdominal pain, Tuesday, Feb. 8, and doctors suspect she is bleeding internally, according to reports.
Her publicist said on Friday (Feb. 11) her condition is “ongoing.”
“This issue is being addressed … She is currently being kept in the hospital for monitoring,” publicist Sally Morrison said in a statement
Taylor was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2004.
Various treatments include rest, proper diet and drugs, such as ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors and beta blockers.
But given her long history with the disease, she may already have exhausted these treatments.
Congestive heart failure also leaves an individual susceptible to secondary infections, such as pneumonia. Fluid in the lungs is often a symptom.
For the past five years, she has been confined to a wheelchair while out in public.
The London-born Taylor won Oscars for her roles in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” in 1966 and “Butterfield 8” in 1960.
She rose to national prominence at the age of 12 in “National Velvet” and became famous for her violet eyes, dark alluring beauty and love of diamonds.