Severe heart failure can cause the lungs to fill with fluid, leaving people feeling like they are drowning, says a new campaign by the British Heart Foundation.
But a BHF survey suggests that 80% of adults are unaware of its impact on everyday life.
There is no cure for heart failure, which can lead to extreme exhaustion and breathlessness.
Experts say stem cell research could be the key to repairing damaged hearts.
More than 750,000 people in the UK currently live with heart failure, which means that the heart is not pumping blood around the body as well as it used to. It is commonly caused by a heart attack.
While patients with mild heart failure can live a relatively normal life with the help of drugs, those with severe heart failure can suffer prolonged pain and distress because everyday tasks such as having a shower or doing the shopping require enormous amounts of energy and leave them exhausted.
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