About heart failure1

The heart is a muscle. It squeezes and relaxes with each heartbeat to pump blood around the body.

With heart failure, the muscle becomes too weak or too stiff to work properly. Heart failure can be caused by a heart attack, high blood pressure, or lifestyle factors. It means the heart can’t contract with enough force, or fill with enough blood. As a result, less blood is pumped around the body.

This can lead to problems in other parts of the body as the organs and muscles don’t receive enough oxygen and nutrients.

Cause of heart failure

Heart failure can have many causes. For example, the heart muscle can be damaged by:

  • a heart attack
  • high blood pressure
  • lifestyle factors

The good news is that making positive lifestyle changes can help those with heart failure better manage their condition.


1: What is Heart Failure? Available at : http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/AboutHeartFailure/What-is-Heart-Failure_UCM_002044_Article.jsp#.WBxi2_p942w. Accessed on 5th December 2016.