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Classification of Heart Failure

Overview

The New York Heart Association has classified heart failure by how bad symptoms are when you are active.footnote 1 The four classes range from having few or no symptoms when active to having symptoms even when at rest.

Class I.

People whose physical activity is not limited. Ordinary physical activity does not cause tiredness (fatigue), heart palpitations, trouble breathing, or chest pain. Ordinary physical activity includes activities like house cleaning, short walks, and gardening.

Class II.

People who have some limitation on physical activity. They are comfortable at rest, but ordinary physical activity causes fatigue, heart palpitations, trouble breathing, or chest pain.

Class III.

People who have a marked limitation on physical activity. They are comfortable at rest, but less-than-ordinary physical activity causes fatigue, heart palpitations, trouble breathing, or chest pain.

Class IV.

People who are unable to carry on any physical activity without symptoms. Symptoms may be present even at rest.

References

Citations

  1. Heidenreich PA, et al. (2022). 2022 AHA/ACC/HFSA guideline for the management of heart failure: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, published online April 1, 2022. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.12.012. Accessed April 1, 2022.

Credits

Current as of: September 7, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Stephen Fort MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology