Types of Heart Failure

There are three types of heart failure.

1. HFrEF (Heart Failure with reduced Ejection Fraction) 

means that the bottom left chamber of the heart (left ventricle), which sends blood around the body, is not pumping effectively. HFrEF is classified as an EF under 40%.

2. HFmrEF (Heart Failure with mid-range Ejection Fraction)

means that the bottom left chamber of the heart (left ventricle), which sends blood around the body, is not pumping effectively. HFmrEF is classified as an EF between 41% and 49%.

3. HFpEF (Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction)

means that the heart is failing to fill efficiently, therefore it fails to send enough blood to meet the body’s needs


List of conditions which can cause heart failure

Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

A heart attack is when the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become blocked, as a result of a clot forming in the artery.

Hypertension (High blood pressure)

Hypertension is another word for high blood pressure and doesn’t usually present any noticeable systems. Persistent undiagnosed and untreated hypertension can lead to damage to the heart.

Heart valves

There are 4 valves in your heart, pulmonary, tricuspid, aortic and mitral. They act as gates to the four different chambers of your heart ensuring the blood flows in the right direction. They can become damaged or diseased meaning they do not open and close as they should. They may become stretched and leak blood backwards, or stiff so that they do not open or close.


Cardiomyopathy is a condition of the heart muscle where the walls of the heart can either become stiff, stretched or thickened thus reducing the ability of the heart to pump effectively. You may have heard of dilated cardiomyopathy or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy however there are many types of cardiomyopathy.

Abnormal heart rhythm

The heart works on its own electric system, it triggers the heart to pump. It provides the heart with a rhythm as blood flows from one chamber to another. When things go wrong with the rhythm of your heart we call it an arrhythmia. You may feel if you heart is experiencing an arrhythmia, by feeling your heart pounding in the centre of your chest called a palpitation. Having an arrhythmai problem maybe why your heart is not working efficeiently.


Peripartum cardiomyopathy commonly known as PPCM is a form of heart failure that can happen during childbirth or after giving birth. It is a rare condition but can be very traumatic for those affected. Read our mini toolkits on PPCM in our guide.

Overactive thyroid

An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) is when there is too much of the thyroid hormone in the body and if left untreated can cause heart failure.


Excessive prolonged consumption of alcohol can lead to alcohol induced cardiomyopathy.

Virus or infection

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and is usually caused by a viral infection and can lead to heart failure.

Cancer medication

Certain cancer medications for some individuals, can lead to heart failure.

Recreational drugs

Recreational drugs can cause heart failure

Congenital Heart Disease

A problem in the structure of the heart that is present at birth.

Secret sauce

Dictionary – “A special quality or feature regarded as the chief factor in the success of something or someone.”

So, what’s your “Secret Sauce?” What makes you tick?

At Pumping Marvellous, we know it takes some real inner drive to live well with heart failure. Pumping Marvellous are Secret Sauce catalysts; we draw out people’s inner Secret Sauce, people’s superpowers and enable other people to learn from other people’s experiences.

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About us

Who, What, Why?

We are the Pumping Marvellous Foundation, the UK’s heart failure patient-led charity. Find out more about why we do what we do.
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The Pumping Marvellous Foundation are a UK patient led heart failure charity. To find out how you can get involved click below.
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