A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop congestive heart failure with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing congestive heart failure. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to reduce your risk.

Risk factors for congestive heart failure (CHF) include:

Medical Condition

The following medical conditions put you at increased risk for developing CHF:

Specific Lifestyle Factor

These lifestyle factors can increase your risk of developing CHF:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Long-term use of anabolic steroids


CHF is most common in people who are older; most people who have CHF are age 65 or older. CHF is the leading cause of hospital admission in patients older than 65.


Both men and women can develop CHF. However, men are at a slightly higher risk of developing CHF.