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Study: 1 in 5 Will Get Heart Failure

But Survival Rates Are Better Than Ever
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Men with normal blood pressure have a 15% chance of developing heart failure. With high blood pressure, the risk jumps to 28%.

While the overall lifetime risk for men has not changed, according to Lloyd-Jones, it has dramatically decreased among women -- partly because more women with high blood pressure are taking measures to lower it.

"We know from clinical trails that lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of congestive heart failure in women by about half," Levy tells WebMD. "Few things we do in clinical practice can reduce risk of anything by half. This is preventative medicine at its best, so that's really good news."

Levy says that men, while still facing the same lifetime odds of heart failure, also fare better these days because more are surviving an initial heart attack, credited to advances in treatment.

But prevention is key when it comes to heart failure. This study shows that 59% of men and 45% of women now die within five years of being diagnosed with heart failure. But things are definitely looking up -- in the 1950s and 1960s, 70% men and 57% of women died within five years of diagnosis.

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