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Heart failure in your 20s: Causes, warning signs, prevention - Medical News Today

Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping well enough to supply the body with blood. While doctors generally consider the condition to be serious and not curable, a person can often manage heart failure with lifestyle changes and medications.

Though heart failure is most common Trusted Source in older adults, it can occur in people in their 20s. Most scientific research on heart failure focuses on older adults.

The following article examines heart failure in young adults in their 20s.

Though uncommon, a person in their 20s can develop heart failure. According to a 2014 review that looked at 20 years of data in Sweden, about 1% Trusted Source of the total hospitalizations for heart failure occurred in people between the ages of 18–44 years.

In the United States, an estimated 6.2 million Trusted Source people live with heart failure. Of these, about 1.4 million are below the age of 60 years.

One 2020 study estimates that heart failure affects between .02–1 out of every 1,000 people. The researchers also noted that, while uncommon, the incident rate has increased in recent years for unknown reasons.

Heart failure in people between the ages of 20–29 years is not common. Still, it is possible a person in their 20s could develop heart failure.

An estimated .02–1 out of every 1,000 cases of heart failure each year occur in people in their 20s.


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According to a 2020 study, being young does not necessarily improve the outlook of a person with heart failure. In fact, researchers noted that several of the study participants quickly developed end stage heart failure.

They also noted that younger people generally report a lower quality of life compared with older individuals. While they may not adhere to medications, they often take their health more seriously than older generations.

With treatment and lifestyle adjustments, a person may be able to live a typical life and help prevent complications from occurring.

Treatment can vary from person to person and often involves a combination of therapies and lifestyle changes. Some treatment strategies may include Trusted Source :

  • a diet low in sodium and high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats
  • medication
  • regular monitoring
  • regular physical activity
  • drinking fewer liquids
  • the use of devices to reduce sodium in the blood
  • a heart transplant
  • surgeries

A person should work with their doctor to determine the best treatment strategies for their situation.

A person in their 20s can develop heart failure. Several risk factors, including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and others, can increase a person’s risk of developing heart failure.

When heart failure occurs at a young age, people often report a reduced quality of life. Treatment, including lifestyle changes, can lead to improvements in quality of life.