If you have heart failure, your doctor will

Examine you Ask about your medical history Run some tests

Heart Failure

Heart failure can be caused by coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and high blood pressure. Heart failure treatment includes doctor-prescribed exercise, dietary changes, medicines, and rarely surgery.


Heart failure is a very common condition. About 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure. Both children and adults can have the condition, although the symptoms and treatments differ. The Health Topic focuses on heart failure in adults.

Blood tests

Abnormal levels of important substances can show strain to organs due to heart failure.

Electrocardiogram (EKG

This records the electrical activity of your heart.

Chest X-ray

It will let your doctor know if you have an enlarged heart. It can also show congestion.


This uses sound waves to make a video image of your heart.

Exercise test

You may hear this called a stress test. It measures how your heart responds when it has to work hard.

Heart catheterization

In this test, you get dye injected through a small tube into a blood vessel. It will show any blockages or weakened arteries.

Avoid smoking

Heart Failure Symptoms