Heart failure is a serious condition, and identifying it early could save your life.
A study by Keele University published in May showed that men and women suffering from the condition had a higher risk of death than people with the most common types of cancer.
According to the NHS, heart failure happens when the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly.
This usually occurs when the heart has become too weak or stiff.
However, heart failure doesn’t mean your heart has stopped working – just that it needs a little support.
There are 900,000 people who have heart failure in the UK, and most of them develop it at an older age.
It is often caused by a number of problems happening at the same time.
Triggers include coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems and cardiomyopathy – which are conditions that affect the heart muscle.
It could also be caused by a sudden change in temperature.
Additionally, anaemia, excessive alcohol consumption and high pressure in the lungs may also lead to it.
Symptoms vary from person to person, and might develop gradually over a number of weeks.
Five signs of the condition to look out for are:
– Swollen ankles and legs
– A fast heart rate
– Weight gain or weight loss
While heart failure can’t be cured, symptoms can usually be managed over a number of years.
According to the NHS, the main treatment options are lifestyle changes, medication, devices implanted in the chest to help control heart rhythm, and surgery.