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Conditions That May Cause Heart Failure

Heart failure often develops as a result of another condition that may have damaged your heart. In time, your heart just can't keep up with your body's demand for blood. Your ventricles, the chambers through which blood flows to and from the heart, may stiffen, preventing them from filling as designed between heartbeats. Or, your heart muscle itself may weaken and the ventricles may dilate, impeding blood from being pumped efficiently to the rest of your body.

Conditions that may cause heart failure include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Damaged heart valves
  • Cardiomyopathy (damaged heart muscle)
  • Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
  • Certain medications
  • Diabetes
  • Certain lung diseases
  • Thyroid disease
  • Viral infections
  • Excessive alcohol use or illicit drug use

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215