Time to take notice and tackle heart failure

Time to take notice and tackle heart failure
This image shows the proportion of the population living with heart failure in individual countries across the globe. Heart failure or swollen limbs. Estimates based on a single center or hospital are indicated by an H. No population-based studies have reportedly been conducted to estimate the proportion of the population living with heart failure in Africa or Latin America. Credit: ESC Heart Failure

Experts have sounded a call to action for policy makers at local, national, and international levels to promote heart failure prevention, improve heart failure awareness among healthcare professionals, ensure equity of care for all patients with heart failure, support and empower patients and their caregivers, and promote heart failure research.

Despite the increasing numbers of people living with and dying from , awareness of the disease is low among the public, politicians, and even some . Although there is no cure for heart failure, many cases are preventable, and most patients can be treated effectively to improve quality of life and survival.

"This White Paper was commissioned by the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology, and in it we examine the worldwide burden of heart failure, highlight the challenges of dealing with the disease, and make evidence-based recommendations for policy change," said Dr. Stefan Anker, co-author of the ESC Heart Failure paper.

More information: Ponikowski P., Anker S. D., AlHabib K. F., Cowie M. R., Force T. L., Hu S., Jaarsma T., Krum H., Rastogi V., Rohde L. E., Samal U. C., Shimokawa H., Budi Siswanto B., Sliwa K., and Filippatos G. (2014) Heart failure: preventing disease and death worldwide, ESC Heart Failure, DOI: 10.1002/2055-5822.12005

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