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Heart Failure - Prevention

The best way to prevent heart failure is to have a heart-healthy lifestyle and control existing health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes.

To reduce your risk:

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Understanding Heart Failure -- the Basics

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump blood effectively to the lungs or the rest of the body. This can be because the person has developed a weakened heart muscle or because the heart muscle has thickened or stiffened, making it difficult to fill the heart and backing up blood into the lungs. With heart failure, the weakened heart pumps less blood than usual, causing the kidneys and adrenal glands to produce chemicals that help the body to hold onto salt and water. In...

Read the Understanding Heart Failure -- the Basics article > >

  • Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit. Avoid secondhand smoke too.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. Eat fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, and whole grains. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and avoid trans fat. Limit sodium, alcohol, and sugar.
  • Get regular exercise. Try to do activities that raise your heart rate. Aim for at least 2½ hours of moderate exercise a week.1
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to.
  • Manage other health problems that can raise your risk of heart disease and heart failure. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. You can use heart-healthy lifestyle changes along with medicines to manage these conditions.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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