Heart Failure Facts

Heart Failure facts

What is Heart Failure (HF)?

The words can be misleading. “Heart Failure” doesn’t mean the heart has stopped working. It means it can’t pump properly—so it doesn’t fully support the body’s need for blood and oxygen.

Heart Failure is serious

Heart Failure is a chronic condition that worsens over time and can lead to hospitalization and even death. Annually, more than 900,000 hospitalizations have a primary diagnosis of Heart Failure—that's nearly 2 hospitalizations every minute.

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Over 6 million people in the US have Heart Failure.

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One out of every 5 people will develop Heart Failure over the course of their lifetime.

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Heart Failure is one of the most common reasons people over the age of 65 are hospitalized.

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Over 6 million people in the US have Heart Failure.

One out of every 5 people will develop Heart Failure over the course of their lifetime.

Heart Failure is one of the most common reasons people over the age of 65 are hospitalized.

Heart Failure can affect the structure
of the heart in 2 ways

Heart Failure can affect the structure of the heart in 2 ways

Systolicheart
Normalheart
Diastolicheart

Reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF)
The heart muscle slowly weakens and loses its ability to pump blood. The heart is unable to pump enough blood for the body's needs. About half of all Heart Failure patients have HFrEF.

Normal Heart
Strong muscular walls squeeze and relax to pump blood out to all parts of the body, supplying the organs with oxygen.

Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF)
The heart has lost the ability to relax normally because the muscle has become stiff. This causes the heart to not function as it should. About half of all Heart Failure patients have HFpEF.

Normalheart

Normal Heart
Strong muscular walls squeeze and relax to pump blood out to all parts of the body, supplying the organs with oxygen.

Systolicheart

Reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF)
The heart muscle slowly weakens and loses its ability to pump blood. The heart is unable to pump enough blood for the body's needs. About half of all Heart Failure patients have HFrEF.

Diastolicheart

Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF)
The heart has lost the ability to relax normally because the muscle has become stiff. This causes the heart to not function as it should. About half of all Heart Failure patients have HFpEF.










The good news


There are ways to help manage your Heart Failure, including healthy changes in lifestyle.

You'll find useful tips, tools, and important information in the Heart Failure Handbook.
Get yours free when you register for the Keep it Pumping support program.





The good news


There are ways to help manage your Heart Failure, including healthy changes in lifestyle.

You'll find useful tips, tools, and important
information in the Heart Failure Handbook.
Get yours free when you register for the Keep it
Pumping support program.



The language of Heart Failure

The language of Heart Failure

When you or someone you care about is diagnosed with Heart Failure, you suddenly have a whole new language to learn. Here are some commonly used medical terms you may need to know.

When you or someone you care about is diagnosed with Heart Failure, you suddenly have a whole new language to learn. Here are some commonly used medical terms you may need to know.

ACE inhibitor

A medicine that helps lower blood pressure and helps in treating Heart Failure by blocking production of angiotensin II, a hormone that circulates in the blood and squeezes blood vessels, and as a result increases the workload on the heart.

ARB

Another medicine that helps block the action of angiotensin II, a hormone that can cause high blood pressure and increase the workload on the heart.

Atrium

One of the heart's top two chambers. Blood arriving back in the atria (plural of “atrium”) gets pushed down into the ventricles after circulating through the body and giving up its oxygen to supply the organs.

Blood pressure

The force with which blood pushes against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps.

Diastolic

The lowest pressure in the arteries as the heart muscle relaxes, allowing it to fill with blood. In blood pressure readings it appears as the second of the two numbers.

Diuretics (water pills)

Drugs that increase urine production to help lower the amount of sodium and water in the blood. This in turn helps fight fluid buildup and lower blood pressure.

Edema (also known as fluid or water retention)

The medical term for swelling, usually of the legs, hands, and feet, when too much fluid builds up in the body tissues. It can signal many different diseases and conditions, including heart and circulation problems.

Ejection fraction (EF)

A measure of how well your heart is pumping out blood. It’s used to diagnose and monitor Heart Failure. The ejection fraction for a normal heart ranges between 50 and 70.

High blood pressure

A disease where the blood flows too forcefully through the arteries. In time, this can stretch the artery walls beyond what’s healthy, which can damage the arteries.

Preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF)—or diastolic Heart Failure

The heart muscle contracts, or squeezes, normally, but the ventricles don’t relax properly, which prevents them from filling completely. So the body fails to get all the blood it needs.

Reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF)—also known as systolic Heart Failure

The heart muscle does not contract, or squeeze, effectively or normally, so less oxygen-rich blood is pumped out to the body.

Sodium

A mineral that’s naturally present in some foods. Everyday table salt—sodium chloride—is 40% sodium by weight. Too much sodium can cause fluid retention and increase the workload on the heart.

Symptom

Something patients experience that can’t be measured—like trouble lying flat to sleep or getting tired/winded after walking up a flight of stairs. A sign—as in “signs and symptoms”—is something like blood pressure that can be measured by others.

Systolic

The blood pressure at the moment the heart beats—when the heart muscle contracts (squeezes) and there’s maximum pressure in the arteries as the blood flows through them. In blood pressure readings, it appears as the first of the two numbers.

Ventricle

A hollow space in a body organ. In the heart, this refers to one of the two lower chambers where the blood is pumped back out to the arteries.

High blood pressure

A disease where the blood flows too forcefully through the arteries. In time, this can stretch the artery walls beyond what’s healthy, which can damage the arteries.

Preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF)—or diastolic Heart Failure

The heart muscle contracts, or squeezes, normally, but the ventricles don’t relax properly, which prevents them from filling completely. So the body fails to get all the blood it needs.

Reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF)—also known as systolic Heart Failure

The heart muscle does not contract, or squeeze, effectively or normally, so less oxygen-rich blood is pumped out to the body.

Sodium

A mineral that’s naturally present in some foods. Everyday table salt—sodium chloride—is 40% sodium by weight. Too much sodium can cause fluid retention and increase the workload on the heart.

Symptom

Something patients experience that can’t be measured—like trouble lying flat to sleep or getting tired/winded after walking up a flight of stairs. A sign—as in “signs and symptoms”—is something like blood pressure that can be measured by others.

Systolic

The blood pressure at the moment the heart beats—when the heart muscle contracts (squeezes) and there’s maximum pressure in the arteries as the blood flows through them. In blood pressure readings, it appears as the first of the two numbers.

Ventricle

A hollow space in a body organ. In the heart, this refers to one of the two lower chambers where the blood is pumped back out to the arteries.


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