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

Despite Concerns, Caffeine is OK for Patients with Heart Failure

Oct 28, 2016

Moderate caffeine consumption may not be as dangerous as initially believed.

Flu Vaccine Helps Keep Heart Failure Patients Out of the Hospital

Oct 20, 2016
British study offers strong support for annual flu vaccine.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

Oct 17, 2016

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip for two to Washington, D.C., in March 2017!

ACC Partners with Google to Share Reliable Heart Health Information

Sep 20, 2016
“Ask a Doctor” feature promotes patient-provider engagement.

Not All Heart Failure Patients Benefit Equally From ICDs

Sep 20, 2016

Implantable devices that help prevent sudden cardiac death don’t extend the lives of all patients with heart failure.

The Importance of Promoting Heart Health in Children

Sep 17, 2016
Experts highlight early education about heart health for prevention later in life.

Many Patients Quit Their Jobs After Heart Failure Diagnosis

Sep 14, 2016
One in three patients doesn’t keep his or her job, finds study.

Women and Minorities Less Likely to Receive Counseling on ICDs for Heart Failure

Aug 16, 2016
Counseling on potentially life-saving heart failure treatment is lacking.

Obese Male Teens at High Risk for Heart Failure as Adults

Jun 29, 2016
Swedish study finds that obese young men are nearly ten times more likely to develop heart failure by middle age.
CardioSmart News

Virtual Health Programs Could Improve Global Health

May 22, 2016
An online challenge promotes physical activity and weight loss in over 60 countries.
CardioSmart News

Open Heart Surgery Boosts Survival in Heart Failure Patients

May 11, 2016

Despite increased risks, open heart surgery improves long-term survival in patients with heart disease and heart failure.

Heart Disease Burden Has Shifted to Southern U.S. States

May 04, 2016

The highest death rates from heart disease have shifted to the South since the 1970s.

CardioSmart News

Vitamin D Improves Cardiac Function in Heart Failure

Apr 24, 2016

Study assesses a simple and promising treatment for the 5 million Americans with heart failure.

Harmful Gut Bacteria Linked to Poorer Health Among People with Heart Failure

Mar 10, 2016
Inflammation-causing bacteria levels are higher in severe heart failure.

Beet Juice Lowers Blood Pressure and Boosts Exercise Endurance in Heart Failure Patients

Mar 08, 2016

Nitrates in beet juice may help improve blood flow and exercise ability.

Decline in Dementia Rates Over Past Three Decades

Mar 08, 2016

Study analyzed data on trends in older adults in the Framingham Heart Study.

Texting Programs Improve Medication Adherence in Patients with Chronic Disease

Feb 26, 2016
A recent study suggests that text messaging programs double the odds of medication adherence in adults with chronic disease.

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

Feb 10, 2016
This series of live programs provides educational and peer-support resources on heart failure for patients and caregivers.

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.

Cardiac Rehab is Lifesaving for Heart Patients

Jan 10, 2016

Exercise-based rehab programs reduce risk for heart-related death by 26%.

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.

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.

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.

Featured Video

Although heart failure is a serious condition, it often can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.

Heart Failure Infographic

Managing Heart Failure

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