Mayo Clinic experts say the main cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease, which can be caused by poorly controlled hypertension or diabetes.

But people with sleep apnea, or those taking certain cancer medications may also be at higher risk. And in rare cases, viral infections can cause damage to the heart muscle.

Ankle swelling, breathlessness, chest pain and rapid heartbeat are well known warning signs of heart failure. But there are other signs as well, like persistent cough, abdominal swelling, rapid weight gain and loss of appetite.

Experts say you can reduce your risk of heart failure by living a healthy lifestyle. You should avoid tobacco and secondhand smoke, eat a healthy diet, and maintain a healthy weight.

Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your heart, and for more information on what you can do to stay healthy.