Adapting your lifestyle

Heart failure is a chronic condition, which means it requires long-term treatment. You can do lots of things to help control your heart failure, and any other medical conditions you may have.

In addition to managing the heart failure therapy your doctor or heart failure nurse have recommended, you may have to adapt other aspects of your lifestyle, such as diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption. Successful lifestyle adaptations are just as important as medical treatment for managing heart failure. To put it simply, patients who manage to change their habits accordingly are much more likely to live better and longer than those who don’t.

This section provides you with more information on how each of these lifestyle factors affect your heart failure, and what changes you should try to make to reduce their impact on your condition.

Click on any of the links below to learn more.

ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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