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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. It is also common after a heart attack. But heart failure can affect people of all ages.

Other factors or conditions that can put you at risk include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Valve problems
  • Atrial Fibrillation and other arrhythmias
  • Certain congenital heart defects or other heart conditions that have damaged or place added strain on the heart
  • Family history
  • Some treatments for cancer (chemotherapy), certain thyroid conditions, and heavy alcohol or drug use have also been linked to damage to the heart muscle
  • African Americans are more likely to develop heart failure; women tend to have more severe symptoms
  • "Broken Heart Syndrome," also known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which is usually brought on by severe stress
  • Last Edited 09/16/2016

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