All of us lose some blood-pumping ability in our hearts as we age, but heart failure results from the added stress of health conditions that either damage the heart or make it work too hard. All of the lifestyle factors that increase your risk of heart attack and stroke – smoking, being overweight, eating foods high in fat and cholesterol and physical inactivity – can also contribute to heart failure. Learn more about what you can do to reduce your risk for heart failure by making lifestyle changes that last.
Conditions that may lead to heart failure
If you have heart failure, chances are you have (or had) one or more of the conditions listed below (View an animation of heart failure). Some of these can be present without you knowing it. Typically these conditions cause the "wear and tear" that leads to heart failure. Having more than one of these factors dramatically increases your risk.
"This content was last reviewed on 08/20/2012."