Anything that damages your heart or affects how well it pumps can lead to heart failure. Common causes include: 

High Blood Pressure 

Increases your risk of developing heart failure. 

Heart Attack 

Leads to damage of your heart muscle and affects its ability to squeeze. 

Coronary Artery Disease 

Narrows the vessel which can starve your heart muscle of oxygen and nutrients. 


Speeds atherosclerosis (lipid or fat build up in the arteries), and is often associated with high blood pressure. 


Nicotine narrows your blood vessels, making your heart work harder. 

Excessive Alcohol Intake 

Alcohol is toxic to your heart. 

Other conditions that can lead to heart failure include: 

  • Diseases of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathies
  • Heart valve disease 
  • Disease of the sac around the heart (pericardial disease), such as pericarditis 
  • A slow, fast or uneven heart rhythm (arrhythmia
  • A heart problem that you were born with (congenital heart defect).