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Heart Failure - What Increases Your Risk

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.

Recommended Related to Heart Failure

Understanding Heart Failure -- Prevention

Drug therapy to lower blood pressure has been shown to reduce heart failure rates by 40%-60%. Reducing blockages in the coronary arteries with anti-cholesterol drugs has been shown to reduce heart failure rates by 30%. Early diagnosis and treatment of heart-valve abnormalities can prevent heart failure caused by chronic volume overload of the heart's left chamber.

Read the Understanding Heart Failure -- Prevention article > >

  • 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.

    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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