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HealthInfo Aoraki-South Canterbury

Preventing heart failure

Reducing risk of heart failure Heart failure happens when your heart has been damaged in some way. It means that your heart can't pump blood as well as it should. It happens when changes in your heart make your heart muscle weak or stiff so that it has difficulty pumping or filling normally.

You may be at risk of heart failure if you:

Heart risk assessments

Your GP or nurse can help you do a Heart risk assessment or you can do it yourself. A heart risk assessment gives an estimate of how likely you are to have a heart attack or stroke within the next five years. It takes into account your health and risk factors.

The age you should start having heart risk assessments depends on your sex, ethnicity and other risk factors. See Heart risk assessment for details.

Reducing your risk of heart failure

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by:

You may need medicines to help manage your heart health. Even so, it's still very important to manage your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Read the Heart Foundation's booklet on Lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke to learn what lifestyle changes you can make to keep your heart healthy.

There are several tests for heart disease. Talk to your GP about what tests you need. They'll refer you to a heart specialist if they think you need further tests.

On the next page: Diagnosing heart failure

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by GP Liaison, Cardiology. Last reviewed December 2018.

Page reference: 44236

Review key: HIHFA-27478