Heart Failure Fact Sheet
Source: CDC Chronic Disease Indicators.
- Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs. Heart failure is a serious condition, but it does not mean that the heart has stopped beating.
- Around 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure.1
- Heart failure is the primary cause of more than 55,000 deaths each year.2
- Heart failure was mentioned as a contributing cause in more than 280,000 deaths (1 in 9) in 2008.1
- About half of people who have heart failure die within 5 years of diagnosis.1
- Diseases that damage your heart—including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes—are common causes of heart failure. Smoking; being overweight; eating foods high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium; and physical inactivity also increase your risk of developing heart failure.
- Heart failure costs the nation $34.4 billion each year.3 This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
- Among 18–64 year-old adults, the cost of hospitalization was higher when heart failure was the secondary diagnosis rather than the primary diagnosis ($25,325 versus $17,654).4
- Early diagnosis and treatment can improve quality of life and life expectancy for people who have heart failure. Treatment usually involves taking medications, reducing salt in the diet, and getting daily physical activity. People with heart failure also track their daily symptoms and discuss them with their doctors.
Common symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath during daily activities.
- Having trouble breathing when lying down.
- Weight gain with swelling in the legs, ankles, or lower back.
- General fatigue and weakness.
CDC's Public Health Efforts
CDC’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program
Since 1998, CDC has funded state health departments’ efforts to reduce the number of people with heart disease or stroke. Health departments in 41 states and the District of Columbia currently receive funding. The program stresses policy and education to promote heart-healthy and stroke-free living and working conditions.
Million Hearts™ is a national, public-private initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Co-led by CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the initiative brings together communities, health care professionals, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners to improve care and empower Americans to make heart-healthy choices.
For More Information
For more information about congestive heart failure, visit the Web sites of the following organizations:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Heart Association
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Heart Failure Society of America
- Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012;125(1):e2–220.
- Kochanek KD, Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Miniño AM, Kung HC. Deaths: final data for 2009 [PDF-2M]. National vital statistics reports. 2011;60(3).
- Heidenriech PA, Trogdon JG, Khavjou OA, Butler J, Dracup K, Ezekowitz MD, et al. Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011;123(8):933–44.
- Wang G, Zhang Z, Ayala C, Wall HK, Fang J. Costs of heart failure–related hospitalizations in patients aged 18–64 years. Am J Manag Care. 2010;16(10):769–76.