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July 3, 2013

Preventing Heart Failure

Author Affiliations
  • 1Duke Clinical Research Institute and Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA. 2013;310(1):44-45. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7589

Over the last several decades, major developments in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease have led to a meaningful reduction in the incidence of coronary heart disease and associated mortality.1 Yet despite advances in heart failure that have modestly improved survival, 5-year mortality is still approximately 50%.1 The prevalence of heart failure remains high, with more than 5 million patients with heart failure in the United States.1 These patients experience shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance, and fluid retention requiring frequent outpatient visits and recurrent hospitalizations, making heart failure a leading cause of hospitalization in this country. By 2030, the heart failure population in the United States is projected to increase by more than 40%, with one estimate suggesting that more than 8 million (1 in 33) people will have heart failure.2 To manage this population, the total direct medical costs are estimated to increase from $21 billion today to $53 billion annually by 2030.2