Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Heart Failure Stages
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart
Association have devised a classification system for
heart failure. It categorizes heart failure based on
how the disease progresses in most people. Under this system,
heart failure is classified by stages A through D.footnote 1
Person is at high risk for developing heart
failure. But there is no structural disorder of the heart.
high blood pressure,
coronary artery disease,
diabetes, a history of
drug or alcohol abuse, a personal history of
rheumatic fever, or a
family history of
Person has a structural disorder of the heart. But the person has never had symptoms of heart failure.
Person has structural changes to the left
ventricle, has heart valve disease, or has had a
Person has past or current symptoms of heart
failure. Symptoms are linked with underlying structural heart disease.
Person has shortness of breath or fatigue
caused by structural heart disease. Or the person does not have symptoms and is
getting treatment for prior symptoms of heart failure.
Person has end-stage disease. He or she needs
specialized treatment strategies.
Person is often hospitalized for heart
failure or cannot be safely discharged from the hospital. Or the person is in the
hospital waiting for a heart transplant. Or the person is at home getting continuous
intravenous support for symptom relief or being supported with a mechanical
circulatory assistive device. Or the person is in a
hospice setting for the management of heart
Yancy CW, et al. (2013). 2013 ACCF/AHA Guideline for the management of heart failure: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 62(16): e147–e239.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, ElectrophysiologyE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerStephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Current as ofJanuary 27, 2016
Current as of:
January 27, 2016
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
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