DCM Foundation
Heartfelt Thanks
to our Sponsors

Stages of Heart Failure

DCM patients and their family members often have questions regarding the stages of Heart Failure.

Heart failure is a constellation of signs and symptoms that can be caused by DCM.

There are many disease conditions that can cause DCM and other types of cardiomyopathy. Symptom severity of heart failure is classified and categorized by the New York Heart Association classification I, II, III, IV, which refer to symptoms of heart failure.

This classification does not necessarily correspond to the types of changes the heart has undergone or is undergoing.

It is important to note that symptoms can improve or worsen over time, so one can move back and forth across the classes of heart failure.

General Overview of Heart Failure Stages:

Stage A is pre-heart failure, which means that you are at high risk for developing heart failure if you have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Family history of cardiomyopathy or known to have a genetic mutation that can cause DCM
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • History of alcohol abuse
  • History of rheumatic fever
  • History of taking drugs that can damage the heart muscle
    (e.g., chemotherapy, methamphetamines)

In Stage B, structural changes to the heart have occurred, but symptoms of heart failure have not yet developed.

In Stage C, symptoms of heart failure have now occurred with changes to the heart structure.

Stage D is characterized by structural changes to the heart and refractory heart failure symptoms that occur at rest, despite optimal therapies.

To learn more about the stages of heart failure and treatments associated with each stage, please click here.

Connect with us!
Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Contact Us


7826 Kate Brown Drive
Dublin, Ohio 43017