New analysis commissioned by the charity shows admissions for heart failure reached record levels in England last year, up to 86,474.
The figures have prompted the BHF to call for improvements in detecting heart failure, and for GPs to be given access to specialist blood tests and heart scans to diagnose the condition earlier.
The steep rise is three times as fast as all other hospital admissions, which have only risen by 11 percent in the same period.
It’s estimated that around 920,000 people have the condition and the burden of heart failure in the UK is similar to the four most common cancers combined.
Patients suffering with heart failure stay in hospital for around 10 days, which is double the average wait for all diagnoses, placing further strain on NHS services.
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Heart failure poses a growing and increasingly complex challenge, not only for people living with the condition, but for those who care for them too.
“It’s concerning to see yet another increase in hospital admissions – an indication that how we diagnose, treat and care for these patients needs urgent attention.
“There is no cure for heart failure, but with access to the right services and support, people can go on to have a good quality of life for many years.
“We need to find new and improved ways of delivering this care, including in communities rather than hospitals. Doing so will improve thousands of lives and relieve the unsustainable pressure that heart failure is putting on our health service.”
Several factors contribute to the rise in heart failure, including an ageing population, and high rates of people living with high blood pressure and diabetes.
Earlier this year a study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that almost 10,000 cases or heart disease could have been prevented if control of salt reduction targets had not been handed to the food industry in 2011.