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So what is the “New York Heart Association Functional Classification”

As a Heart Failure Patient or as a Carer of a Heart Failure Patient you may hear people around you talk about Class 1,2,3 or 4 Heart Failure. So what is this all about and why is this used as the standard classification for Heart Failure across the globe.

Well let us explore. When I was diagnosed and in hospital with Heart Failure I was at Stage 4 Heart Failure. As I recovered I moved up the scale to 3, 2 and then 1 where I am now and I kept hearing and asking what this related to. Well this is my interpretation with a little element of fact behind it.

  • NYHA Class I – No symptoms at any level of exertion and no limitation in ordinary physical activity.
  • NYHA Class II – Mild symptoms and slight limitation during regular activity. Comfortable at rest.
  • NYHA Class III – Noticeable limitation due to symptoms, even during minimal activity. Comfortable only at rest
  • NYHA Class IV – Severe limitations. Experience symptoms even while at rest

Ok so they are the classifications but how are they assessed?

The NYHA classification scale is very useful to help clinicians treat patients with heart failure. It helps them determine if the condition is improving, staying the same or getting worse. It is also used in research studies to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments for Heart Failure.

We hope this helps when these numbers are bounded about.

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