[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Who Is Affected by Heart Failure


The number of people who have heart failure is growing. Two of the reasons for this growth are that people in general are living longer and people who already have heart failure are also living longer. The risk of heart failure rises as a person gets older. So more and more people are expected to have heart failure as the population gets older.

Some facts about heart failure: 1

  • Over 5 million people in the United States have heart failure. Heart failure affects men and women about equally.
  • Over 1 million people in the United States are hospitalized each year for heart failure.
  • Heart failure affects nearly 10 out of 1,000 people after age 65.

Heart failure eventually occurs in almost all people with severe heart disease. When and how it appears depends on the type of heart disease present.

In the past, a person with heart disease would die at an earlier age, long before heart failure might develop. Today, better medical care and treatments mean that heart disease is being identified and treated earlier, extending the lives of millions of people. But those same people with heart disease who now live longer have increased chances of developing heart failure.



  1. Lloyd-Jones D, et al. (2009). Heart disease and stroke statistics 2010 update: A report from the American Heart Association. Circulation . Published online December 17, 2009 (doi: 10.1161/circulationaha.109.192667). Also available online: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192667.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
Last Revised August 5, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2011 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.

More to explore

[an error occurred while processing this directive]