It is the term used when the heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood round the body.

It may result from damage to the heart muscle, most commonly by a heart attack, but sometimes by drinking too much alcohol, a viral infection or by disease of the heart muscle called cardiomyopathy.

It can also be as a result of other conditions which put extra workload on the heart.

For example, high blood pressure, heart valve disease, anaemia or thyroid gland disease.

  • Breathlessness
  • Severe tiredness
  • Swelling of feet/ankles
  • Reduced exercise tolerance

A physical examination and history will be taken by your Doctor.

Usually an Electrocardiogram (ECG) and chest x-ray and blood tests will be performed.

An echo cardiogram will be required to test the pumping action of the heart which is a type of ultrasound scan.

  • Diuretics or water tablets
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Beta blockers
  • Aldosterone antagonists

  • Cardiac resynchronisation therapy - a special type of pacemaker
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Heart surgery, for example, a replacement heart valve
  • Heart transplant