Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump as much blood as it is supposed to. About 5.1 million people in the United States have heart failure, and about 670,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

Heart failure can be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. It is the most common reason for hospitalization among people on Medicare. Nationally, heart failure costs $32 billion a year.

Heart failure, which also is called congestive heart failure or chronic heart failure, is a serious condition. The only cure for heart failure is a heart transplant. However, heart failure can be managed with medication.

How does heart failure affect our community?
In Cuyahoga County alone, more than 27,000 people had heart failure, nearly 3% of adult residents.

Who is at risk for heart failure?
You are at greater risk for heart failure if you:
  • Are age 65 or older

  • Have heart disease, also called coronary artery disease

  • Have diabetes

  • Have high blood pressure

  • Are overweight or obese
More men than women have heart failure. African Americans are more likely than any other racial or ethnic group to have heart failure and may develop symptoms earlier than age 65.

Better Health's most recent report in 2014 shows that of 7,000 patients with heart failure, 72% met care standards for evaluation of heart failure and 97% met treatment standards.