Your risk for having heart failure is higher if you have certain risk factors. A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of having a particular problem.
Heart failure is usually caused by another health problem, often coronary artery disease or high blood pressure. So anything that increases your risk for one of those problems also increases your risk for heart failure.
- Risk factors for coronary artery disease and heart attack include smoking, having high cholesterol or diabetes, and having a family history of heart disease.
- Risk factors for high blood pressure include being overweight, being inactive, and having a family history of high blood pressure.
- Risk factors for heart valve disease include older age and an infection of the valves.
The risk of heart failure rises as a person gets older.