Heart Failure

Heart failure is a serious, lifelong condition that requires careful management.

Learn more about Heart Failure

If you have—or think you have—heart failure, it’s normal to feel scared. But you’re not alone. More than 5.7 million Americans have heart failure.

Contrary to how it sounds, heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped beating. It refers to a number of conditions that can affect the way the heart works and/or its structure. Over time, heart failure makes it harder and harder for the heart to pump enough blood and oxygen to meet your body’s needs. That’s why most people with heart failure get short of breath, especially when they are active. Even climbing the stairs or carrying groceries may leave you winded. Of course, your symptoms will depend on the type of heart failure you have.

Because it’s a lifelong condition, you must take an active role in your care to stay well. The more informed and equipped you are to manage heart failure, the better you may feel. Use this condition center to learn more about heart failure. You can also chat online with other people like you, keep up with the latest research, and get tips to help you feel your best.

Heart Failure News & Events

Heart Failure Remains a Major Challenge for Those with Congenital Heart Disease

Feb 02, 2016
People born with heart defects are living longer than ever, but heart failure remains a serious concern.

Too Little Exercise Remains a Prime Concern for Americans

Jan 18, 2016
Experts reaffirm that health benefits from exercise far outweigh risks.

Heart Disease Remains Top Killer in the United States

Jan 10, 2016

Heart disease accounts for 1 in 3 deaths, highlighting an urgent need for prevention and treatment.

Limiting Salt Could Harm, Not Help, Heart Failure Patients

Jan 09, 2016
Those with heart failure should work closely with their health care providers to determine what is best for their individual case.

Declines in U.S. Death Rates Have Slowed

Nov 19, 2015
Researchers measure progress on heart disease and other leading causes of death, and identify areas for improvement.

Low-Fat Diets Not the Best Weight Loss Solution

Nov 19, 2015

A review of more than 50 clinical trials comparing low- versus higher-fat diets shows no significant difference in weight loss results.

Sugary Drinks Boost Heart Failure Risk

Nov 19, 2015
Two or more sugar-sweetened drinks a day increase risk for heart failure in men, study finds.

The More Exercise the Better to Prevent Heart Failure

Nov 05, 2015
Exceeding the recommended levels of physical activity may reduce heart failure risk by up to 35%.

Managing Heart Failure: A Program for Patients and Caregivers in Orlando

Oct 22, 2015

This series of live programs provides educational and peer-support resources on heart failure for patients and caregivers.

African-American Veterans Healthier Than White Counterparts

Oct 22, 2015

Analysis of VA data stands in contrast to health disparities in the general U.S. population.

Therapy is Useful for Heart Failure Patients Experiencing Depression

Oct 13, 2015
Cognitive therapy eases depression symptoms, which improves quality of life and helps keep these patients out of the hospital.

Music Boosts Heart Health

Oct 13, 2015
Music’s effect on heart activity, blood pressure and breathing bodes well for health.

A Healthy Lifestyle in Midlife Makes for Healthier Golden Years

Oct 13, 2015

The benefits of healthy choices carry long into older adulthood.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

Oct 05, 2015

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip for two to Chicago in April 2016!

Longer, But Not Necessarily Healthier, Lives

Sep 25, 2015
While life expectancy continues to rise, heart disease becomes the leading cause of disability around the world.

Moderate Exercise Helps Ward Off Heart Failure

Sep 22, 2015
Walking or biking just 20 minutes a day cuts heart failure risk by more than 20%.

Deep Belly Fat Increases Cardiovascular Risk

Sep 18, 2015
Study finds that both volume and type of belly fat have an impact on heart health.

Age and Gender Differences in Heart Disease Mortality Rates

Sep 17, 2015
Despite recent drops in cardiovascular mortality rates, death toll among young adults remains high.

Economic and Social Forces Have Big Impact on Heart Health

Aug 21, 2015
The American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement addressing social factors that influence risk for heart disease.

Chocolate Protects Against Heart Disease and Stroke

Jul 01, 2015
Moderate chocolate consumption helps, not harms, cardiovascular health.

Action, Not Advice, Helps Smokers Quit

Jun 25, 2015
Creating a quit plan and providing tools for ongoing support is more effective than education alone in helping smokers quit.

Alcohol Alters Heart Function in Elderly Adults

Jun 08, 2015

Study finds that drinking alcohol causes changes in heart size and function, especially in elderly women.

Managing Heart Failure: A Program for Patients and Caregivers in Orlando

Jun 04, 2015
This series of live programs provides educational and peer-support resources on heart failure for patients and caregivers.

Cash Incentives Help Smokers Quit

Jun 03, 2015
Rewards-based programs are much more appealing than deposit-based programs, which require smokers to risk their own money.

Mediterranean Diet Improves Memory and Brain Function

May 26, 2015
A diet rich in olive oil and nuts may improve brain function and reduce risk for dementia.

Managing Heart Failure

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