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What Increases Your Risk?

Who gets heart failure? Some people are more likely to develop the condition. For example, because the heart's squeezing ability tends to grow weaker over time, heart failure is more common as we age. But heart failure can affect people of all ages.

The most common causes of heart failure include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Other factors or conditions that can put you at risk include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Valve problems
  • Certain congenital heart defects or other heart conditions that have damaged or place added strain on the heart
  • Obesity
  • Family history

In addition, some treatments for cancer (chemotherapy), certain thyroid conditions, and heavy alcohol or drug use have also been linked to damage to the heart muscle.

"Broken heart syndrome," also known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is usually brought on by severe stress.

African Americans are more likely to develop heart failure. Also, women tend to have more severe symptoms.

  • Last Edited 03/17/2022