Heart failure - Key facts and figures

Our hearts beat 100,000 times a day pumping oxygen-rich blood around our bodies – that’s two and a half billion beats by the time we’re 701!

For people living with heart failure, the heart muscle becomes stiff or weak meaning the heart is unable to pump enough blood around the body2. Over 26 million people have heart failure worldwide3. By 2030, that number will increase by nearly 50% (46%)4. This partly linked to advances in medicines that result in people living longer, especially after other cardiac conditions like a heart attack5.

1 in 5 people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their lifetime6. In Europe, 3.5million people are diagnosed every year– that’s the same as 400 cases every hour or 7 cases every minute7. Heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalization in people over 65 years old8 and costs the world economy $108 billion a year9.

Improved awareness can make a difference. Early diagnosis, effective treatment and improved lifestyles can help those with heart failure to live longer and healthier lives10. This is because heart failure is a progressive disease; where symptoms may start out having very little effect on a person’s life, but they can become more impactful11. Making sure you are improving your lifestyle and speaking to your doctor about the most effective treatments as early as possible will help to slow symptom worsening. Currently, only 3% of people can identify heart failure from a description of its symptoms12… It’s time to change that. Find a full list of sign and symptoms of heart failure here.


Get the facts

Heart failure affects millions of people worldwide. Take a look at the facts and figures below. Find out just how big of an impact this disease has.


1 in 5

people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their lifetime*

Every year, more than 3.5 million people are diagnosed with HF in Europe. This equates to over 400 cases every hour or

7 cases

in the 60 seconds it takes to read this infographic*

Heart failure causes

2 to 3

times as many deaths as advanced cancers

like bowel and breast cancer*

*Reference: Heart failure in numbers. Novartis Pharma AG. Sep 2015. Code: GLCM/LCZ/0063.


1) Arkansas Heart Hospital. Amazing heart facts. Available at: https://www.arheart.com/heart-health/amazing-heart-facts/. Last accessed August 2018
2) NHS Choices. Heart failure. Available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heart-failure/. Last accessed July 2018
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6) America Heart Association (AHA). Understand your risk for heart failure. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/causes-and-risks-for-heart-failure/understand-your-risk-for-heart-failure. Last accessed August 2018
7) Lόpez-Sendόn. Heart failure today: a paradigm shift. Medicographia. 2011; 33 (4): 363-369. Available at: https://www.medicographia.com/wp-content/pdf/Medicographia109.pdf. Last accessed August 2018
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9) Cook C, Cole G, Asaria P et al,. The annual global economic burden of heart failure. International Journal of Cardiology. 2014; 171 (3): 368-376. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167527313022389. Last accessed August 2018
10) British Heart Foundation (BHF). Heart failure. Available here: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/heart-failure. Last accessed August 2018
11) American Heart Association (AHA). Advanced Heart Failure. Available at: http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/living-with-heart-failure-and-managing-advanced-hf/advanced-heart-failure. Last accessed August 2018
12) Remme W, McMurray J, Rauch B et al,. Public awareness of heart failure in Europe: first results from SHAPE. European Society of Cardiology. 2005; 26: 2413-2421. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16135524. Last accessed August 2018