Community Shares: How Old Were You When You Were Diagnosed With Heart Failure?
A heart failure diagnosis can affect anyone. It may happen at any age, regardless of race, class, physical ability, or family history. It can feel overwhelming and come as a shock to hear the news, “You have heart failure.” This is as true at 70 as it is at 20.
To learn more about when our community members received the news of their condition, we turned to followers of our Facebook page. We asked you to tell us: “At what age were you diagnosed with heart failure?” Hundreds of community members responded. Here is what was shared.
Heart failure in my 20s
Several community members shared that they received their diagnosis when they were still in their 20s. For most people diagnosed at this age, heart failure came as a total shock.
“I was 21. About 2 months before my 22nd birthday. Talk about growing up fast!”
“Age 28, right after I gave birth to my son.”
Diagnosed in my 30s
Several community members shared that they received their diagnosis in their 30s. Many were warned by doctors that they would need big medical procedures like a heart transplant. Some even shared that they are defying the odds since they still do not need the transplant their doctors recommended.
“I was 39 years old. They said I would need a heart transplant within 5 years. But I am still going at age 65. I spend a lot of time praying.”
“I was 32, and I am now 60. They said I needed a heart transplant in 1992, and I am still rocking it with my original equipment.”
“Just a few days ago. I was diagnosed on January 15th. I just had a newborn on the 9th of this month. And I am turning 30 on the 23rd of this month. Very big shocker.”
“I was 27 when I started having heart failure symptoms but was not officially diagnosed until I was 38 years old.”
Between the ages of 40 and 50
This seemed to be the most common answer in the community. For some, the diagnosis showed up after a heart attack. For others, a heart attack was not part of their story.
“I was 46. My cardiologist said that I had the heart of an 80-year-old. That is scary.”
“I was 49 and had just had a heart attack. The year was 1998. God is indeed good.”
“I was 41 and really surprised that I was going to have heart problems at that age and from now on.”
“It was after I was 48 and had a heart attack. I am 67 now.”
“Early 40s. I am 71 in March. Have had my second pacemaker procedure in November. Now I feel OK.”
Heart failure diagnosed between 50 and 60
A handful of community members shared that they did not quite make it to their 60s before the news dropped. The good news about finding out sooner rather than later is that this information allows someone to make lifestyle and health changes that can help.
“I was 52 years young. I am now 60.”
“At age 57, I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy that resulted from rheumatic fever during childhood.”
“I was 52. Never had a heart attack (thank God was diagnosed before it happened).”
Receiving a diagnosis after age 60
The medical community states that heart failure is most likely to show up after the age of 65. Around age 60, body processes are starting to slow down. For many people, the heart is not able to support the body the way it could decades ago. Still, even though we expect our bodies to slow down with age, a heart failure diagnosis still often comes as a surprise.
“At age 62, after a horrible year!”
“At age 62! It has been different. I was shocked when I was told!”
“At age 68. Now I am 72, but still feel new to this.”
Thank you to everyone who shared about their heart failure diagnosis. We appreciate your willingness to be open with other community members.
Do you use exercise to help manage your heart failure?