Since heart failure can progress rapidly, it is important to consult a physician immediately if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Swelling of feet and ankles or abdomen
  • Pronounced neck veins
  • Loss of appetite or indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath that occurs with activity or after lying down for a while
  • Chronic cough
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue, weakness, faintness
  • Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations) or an irregular or rapid pulse
  • Decreased alertness or concentration
  • Decreased urine production or need to urinate at night

Heart Failure Causes & Risk Factors

  • Heart damage: Heart failure can be the result of heart damage from a heart or circulation disease
  • High blood pressure: High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common causes of heart failure. Learn more about high blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease: Coronary artery disease, the most common cause of heart attack, is the result of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Learn more about coronary artery disease
  • Damage after a heart attack: After a heart attack, patients may develop heart failure from the damage the heart attack caused to the heart muscles. Learn more about heart attack
  • Valvular heart disease: Heart valve abnormalities can lead to heart failure. Learn more about valve disease
  • Myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart muscle may occur because of viral infections or other causes.