Keeping other medical conditions under control

Your heart failure is considered a chronic medical condition, since you are likely to receive long-term treatment for it. You may also have one or more other chronic medical conditions. This may mean that you have to take medicines or make lifestyle changes additional to those your doctor has advised as part of your heart failure management.

It’s important to manage your other chronic condition(s) as well as possible, as if these are poorly controlled they can make your heart failure worse. Managing several medical conditions can be challenging, so keeping your doctor and nurse informed about your chronic conditions and their treatments will help ensure you achieve the best possible results. This is especially true if you see more than one doctor for different conditions.

The following conditions are often diagnosed or experienced by heart failure patients: 

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm such as Atrial Fibrillation
  • Lung conditions such as asthma or obstructive airways disease,
  • Thyroid problems
  • Arthritis, muscle and joint pain
  • Diabetes
  • Anaemia
  • Depression is often a major problem with symptomatic heart failure and should be discussed accordingly with your healthcare professional.

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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