The Stages of Heart Failure

Heart failure stages guide treatment options.

Heart failure, when your heart does not pump well enough to meet your body’s need for blood and oxygen, is a chronic condition that worsens over time. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have defined four stages of heart failure, Stages A through D. These not only explain the progression of this condition, but can also be used to help provide guidelines for treatment. If you are someone who has been diagnosed with heart failure, it’s important to understand what stage you’re in and what treatment options are available.  Let’s examine each stage in more detail.

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Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. ACCF and AHA Release Guidelines on the Management of Heart Failure. American Family Physician. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0801/p186.html
  2. Classes of Heart Failure. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/AboutHeartFailure/Classes-of-Heart-Failure_UCM_306328_Article.jsp#.WLWx9BIrLOQ
  3. Goldberg LR. Stage B Heart Failure: Management of Asymptomatic Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction. Circulation. 2006;113(24):2851-2860. doi:10.1161/circulationaha.105.600437.
  4. Understanding Heart Failure: Stages. Cleveland Clinic. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/heart-failure/stages
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