Heart Failure | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes heart failure?

Heart failure has many different causes. Sometimes the exact cause cannot be found. The most common causes of heart failure are listed below:

  • Coronary artery disease (when the blood supply to the heart is partially or completely blocked); with or without a heart attack in the past
  • Problems with the heart muscle itself (cardiomyopathy)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Problems with any of the heart valves
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • The use of toxic substances (such as alcohol or drug abuse)
  • Congenital heart defect (a heart problem you were born with)
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems


Reducing Readmissions for Congestive Heart Failure by RE Hoyt, CAPT, MC, USN, and LS Bowling, LTCR, MC, USN (American Family Physician May 15, 2001, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010415/1593.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00