Classification of heart failure

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.

Last Updated: August 25, 2008

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