Heart Failure

Patients with heart failure have a lot of control over how they feel. Following some simple steps can help.

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

Moderate Drinking Lowers Risk of Heart Failure

Oct 19, 2017
An Italian study links up to two glasses of wine a day to reduced risk for heart failure.

A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Helps Keep the Mind Intact

Oct 16, 2017
Experts provide simple yet effective strategies for protecting cognitive health as we age.

Stem Cell Therapy Shows Promise for Patients with Chronic Heart Failure

Oct 02, 2017
Stem cells from umbilical cords may improve heart function and symptoms.

Patients with AFib Can Prevent Heart Failure with a Few Key Choices

Aug 23, 2017

Preventing four modifiable risk factors helps patients with atrial fibrillation reduce risk for heart failure.

Weight Gain in Middle Age Contributes to Increased Risk for Heart Failure

Aug 17, 2017

Gaining just 5% of body weight can affect heart structure and function.

New Guidelines Fine-Tune Heart Screenings in Young Athletes

Aug 17, 2017
Refined testing would save health care costs while still detecting serious heart conditions.

Too Much Salt Puts Added Stress on Heart

Aug 17, 2017
A recent study confirms that consuming more than 3,700 mg of sodium daily taxes the heart.

Exercise Minimizes Heart Damage Caused by Obesity

Jun 28, 2017
Study shows how exercise helps reduce risk for heart failure, especially in obese adults.

Study Questions the Use of Vitamin D Supplements in Heart Failure Patients

Jun 15, 2017
Experts urge caution with daily high-dose vitamin D supplements.

Quality of Life as a Key Goal for Older Adults with Heart Disease

May 10, 2017

Maintaining independence should be a key goal of treatment, argue experts.

Experts Help Clarify Who Should Take Fish Oil Supplements

Apr 13, 2017

Current research shows a lack of evidence to recommend fish oil supplements to the general population.

Heart Failure Risk Strongly Associated with Inactivity and Obesity

Mar 03, 2017
Large study of U.S. adults affirms a healthy lifestyle for prevention.

Analysis Confirms Exercise is Safe for Patients with ICDs

Feb 08, 2017

Exercise helps patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators improve fitness and reduce ICD shocks, finds study.

Heart Failure Rates on the Rise, Show Latest Statistics

Feb 01, 2017

While heart failure has become an increasing concern, overall death rates from heart disease declined by 25% in recent years.

Managing Heart Failure: A Program for Patients and Caregivers

Jan 23, 2017
Watch this program to learn about heart failure and resources to help you or a loved one manage the condition.

Study Questions Usefulness of Financial Penalties to Improve Quality of Care

Jan 21, 2017

Financial incentives to improve heart failure care not as effective as policy makers had hoped, finds study.

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.

Featured Video

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

Patient Guide: Living Well With Heart Failure

Use this guide to customize your self care plan. View the Guide »

Infographic: Heart Failure