About Heart Failure

A Public Health Issue

60 million people suffer from heart failure worldwide according to the Global Burden of Disease Study, an international research effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The prognosis for heart failure patients is poor, with lower survival rates than most cancers.

What Is Heart Failure?


Heart failure corresponds to the loss of contractility of the heart. The heart muscle is too weak and cannot eject enough blood to the needs of the body. It does not pump sufficient blood flow through the body to meet the physiological needs of the body and in particular other vital organs such as the kidneys and the liver. This pathology is progressive and worsens over time, as the heart weakens further while trying to compensate for its loss of activity.

Although the risk of developing heart failure differs from person to person, they are some known risk factors. Other cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of heart failure, especially myocardial infarction. Hypertension, diabetes, genetic defects and lifestyle choices, such as excessive consumption of tobacco, drugs or alcohol can also lead to the decreased pumping capacity of the heart and development of the disease.

What Are The Symptoms?

The most common symptoms of heart failure are:

  • Significant fatigue
  • weight gain
  • Edema formation due to water retention

These symptoms, their number and their intensity vary as the disease progresses. In the most advanced stages, patients’ lives are significantly affected; some everyday activities such as carrying a bottle of water, getting dressed or climbing the stairs are more difficult, considerably affecting their quality of life.