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

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.

Moderate Wine Consumption Improves Quality of Life for Heart Failure Patients

May 18, 2015

In this study, benefits from a daily glass of wine included less depression and inflammation and a better perception of one’s health.

A National Plan to Get America Moving

May 11, 2015

Proposed changes to our physical and social environments encourage regular physical activity for Americans throughout the course of the day.

Depression Takes a Greater Toll on African-Americans with Heart Failure

May 04, 2015

Research findings warn against ignoring depressive symptoms in this population already at greater risk for the condition.

Moderate Drinking Lowers Heart Failure Risk

Apr 28, 2015

One or two drinks a day may help protect the heart, according to a study of more than 33,000 Swedish men.

Is There an Exercise 'Sweet Spot' for Longer Life?

Apr 23, 2015
Two large-scale studies take a close look at meeting or exceeding current exercise guidelines, but one thing is clear: Any physical activity is far better than none.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Rare for Adults Engaged in Sports

Apr 23, 2015

Study highlights the benefits of exercise and sports in middle-aged adults, as well as CPR training.

Despite Common Fears, Exercise Safe for Patients with ICDs

Apr 07, 2015
Exercise is not only safe but improves heart health of patients with ICDs, says study.

Strategies for Combatting Childhood Obesity

Apr 07, 2015
Early lifestyle interventions are urgently needed to stop growing childhood obesity rates.

Children of Smokers Have Increased Risk of Heart Disease in Adulthood

Apr 03, 2015

Quitting is the best approach for the health of the family, but limiting children’s exposure to smoke can help.

Exercise Prevents Fall Injuries in Older Women

Apr 03, 2015

Finnish study assesses the effects of Vitamin D and strength training in women prone to falling.

CardioSmart News

Short Hospital Stays after Angioplasty Are Often Sufficient for Older Patients

Mar 31, 2015
Study finds patients 65 or older discharged from the hospital as early as 48 hours after angioplasty following a heart attack have similar outcomes as those who stay four-to-five days.
CardioSmart News

Keeping Heart Failure at Bay

Mar 13, 2015
Preventing obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes could delay development of heart failure by up to 13 years.

What Kind of Exercise is Best for Waist Size?

Mar 13, 2015
Both low- and high-impact exercise help us lose weight, but each provides different types of added benefits.
CardioSmart News

Same-Day Discharge after ICD Placement Shown to be Safe

Mar 11, 2015

With appropriate follow-up, eligible patients released the same day do just as well as those kept overnight.

Managing Heart Failure

Use this guide to customize your self care plan. Download Workbook »

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