Enjoying Life While Managing Heart Failure

The Diagnosis

What is heart failure? Explore common causes and ways to lower your risk for developing this disease.

What is heart failure?

The heart pumps blood to all parts of your body. Your heartbeat is the heart’s pump, moving blood throughout your body. Heart failure means your heart is not pumping as well as it should. Heart failure does not mean your heart will stop working, but it does mean you need to seek treatment soon.

Heart failure can affect the heart’s left side, right side, or both sides. It usually affects the left side which is responsible for pumping blood to the body.

The Ejection Fraction is an important measurement used to identify how much blood is pumped to the body from the left side with each heart beat.

When heart failure is diagnosed there are many terms used to describe it, such as:

Once a diagnosis is made, you and your health care team work together to decide the treatment that is best for you.

Diagram of heart failure with HFrEF, Normal Heart, and HFpEF
LV: left ventricle

Do I have any heart failure symptoms?

Take this quiz to learn if you are at risk for heart failure.

Why does heart failure happen?

The two most common causes of heart failure are:

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Age
  • Family history

Other causes of heart failure

How can I lower my risk for heart failure?

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana Use

Drinking alcohol and using tobacco can harm your heart. No amount of alcohol is considered safe for the heart. If you do drink alcohol, please speak to your health care team.

If you smoke, chew, or vape tobacco or marijuana products, it is important to stop. There are different ways to help you quit. This may include medications, quit smoking programs, and/or working with a counselor or support group. Speak to your health care teams about options for stopping tobacco or marijuana use.

Heart Failure Quiz

Do you experience one or more of these symptoms?

Hover your mouse over the icons to learn more

Tap the icons to learn more

Breathing trouble

Change in your weight


No appetite or upset stomach



Mental confusion

Heart beating fast

Your Results

A Risk of Heart Failure

No reason to panic but you should call your health care team and report your symptoms.

Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms:

In the meantime, continue on in this tool to learn some tips on how you can adjust your lifestyle in order to prevent heart failure.

Your Results

That’s Great News

If any of these symptoms start,
please contact your health care team.

Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms:

In the meantime, continue on in this tool to learn some tips on how you can adjust your lifestyle in order to prevent heart failure.

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