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Prevent premature deaths from heart failure, urges the Heart Failure Association
Date:5/14/2014

Athens, 14 May 2014. The Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is calling for global policy change relating to heart failure. An international white paper, Heart failure: preventing disease and death worldwide, will be presented at an endorsement event on 16 May 2014 in Athens, Greece, immediately before the Heart Failure 2014 Congress.

Approximately 15 million people are living with heart failure in Europe,1 and 26 million worldwide.2 The outlook is poor: survival rates are worse than those for bowel, breast or prostate cancer, and the illness imposes a huge burden on patients, caregivers and healthcare systems. Heart failure accounts for around 12% of the total healthcare budget in developed countries.3 In Germany alone, the total medical costs attributable to the disease were nearly 3 billion in 2006.3 In the coming decades, the global rise of ageing populations and detrimental lifestyle changes could more than double the demands on healthcare systems in some countries.4 This represents a burgeoning health and economic crisis which must be addressed.

Awareness of the disease is alarmingly poor among the general public and healthcare professionals alike, resulting in many unnecessary premature deaths. "Although there is no cure, heart failure can be prevented, and most patients can be treated effectively to improve quality of life and survival," stressed Professor Stefan Anker, President of the HFA. "People need to recognise the symptoms of heart failure to help increase the opportunities for prevention," added Professor Piotr Ponikowski, Past President of the HFA. "Policy initiatives that prioritise heart failure prevention and champion equity of care for all would ease the strain on global healthcare systems and improve outcomes for patients."

Heart failure: preventing disease and death worldwide has been developed as part of the Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme initiated by the HFA of the ESC. Writt
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Contact: Francois Durand
fdurand@escardio.org
33-492-948-686
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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