1-2%
In populations of developed countries
≥10%
prevalence in population ≥70 years

Heart failure can be defined as an abnormality of cardiac structure or function leading to failure of the heart to deliver oxygen at a rate commensurate with the requirements of the metabolizing tissues, despite normal filling pressures (or only at the expense of increased filling pressures).
From a patient’s perspective, chronic heart failure is characterized by gradual symptoms developing over time, such as shortness of breath and fatigue.

The New York Heart Association classifies heart failure based on functional limitations and severity.
Class I No limitation of physical activity. Ordinary physical activity does not cause undue breathlessness, fatigue, or palpitations.
Class II Slight limitation of physical activity. Comfortable at rest, but ordinary physical activity results in undue breathlessness, fatigue, or palpitations.
Class III Marked limitation of physical activity. Comfortable at rest, but less than ordinary physical activity results in undue breathlessness, fatigue, or palpitations.
Class IV Unable to carry on any physical activity without discomfort. Symptoms at rest can be present. If any physical activity is undertaken, discomfort is increased.1


1. McMurray J, et al. Eur Heart J. 2012;33:1787-1847.