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Classification of Heart Failure

Topic Overview

The following is a classification for heart failure devised by the New York Heart Association (NYHA). It is important to be familiar with this classification, because it may be referred to during the course of your care.

Classification of heart failure symptoms

Class I

People whose physical activity is not limited. Ordinary physical activity does not cause undue fatigue, heart palpitations, trouble breathing, or chest pain.

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 discomfort. Symptoms may be present even at rest. If any physical activity is done, discomfort increases.

Related Information

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Yancy CW, et al. (2013). 2013 ACCF/AHA Guideline for the management of heart failure: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 62(16): e147–e239.

Credits

Current as ofJuly 22, 2018

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

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