What is Heart Failure?

heart
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way it should. It can affect one or both sides of the heart.

Common causes of heart failure

1. Coronary artery disease
2. High blood pressure
3. Diabetes

Heart failure is more common in people who are 65 years old or older, African Americans, people who are overweight, and people who have had a heart attack. Men have a higher rate of heart failure than women.


Common signs and symptoms of heart failure

According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common signs and symptoms of heart failure are:

1. Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
2. Fatigue (tiredness)
3. Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck

All of these symptoms are the result of fluid buildup in your body. When symptoms start, you may feel tired and short of breath after routine physical effort, like climbing stairs. As your heart grows weaker, symptoms get worse. You may begin to feel tired and short of breath after getting dressed or walking across the room.


Find, compare & rate cardiologists near you

Learn more about the heart & cardiologists:

How to find the best cardiologist
Tips to preventing heart disease
What are congenital heart defects?
What are heart valve diseases?
What is a cardiologist?
What is a heart attack?
What is arrhythmia?
What is coronary artery disease?

Heart failure is also known as: cardiac failure, CHF, congestive heart failure, left-sided heart failure, & right-sided heart failure.