Make heart failure a National Priority

“We have one opportunity to get this right.
If we don’t, a tsunami of costs will hit us.”

Nick Hartshorne-Evans, CEO of The Pumping Marvellous Foundation and President, iHHUB

“Heart failure is the biggest threat to our health care systems
– yet very few people know about it.”

Dr José Ramon Juanatey, President of the Spanish Society of Cardiology


Until now, heart failure has been a “forgotten condition”. Yet 1 in 5 of us are at risk of developing heart failure over the course of our lives1 and its cost to health care systems is considerable. 

What’s more, heart failure is a debilitating condition which has a huge impact on the quality of life of those affected.2 Many patients are treated inadequately, causing avoidable suffering and early death.

National leadership is key to raising awareness of the unmet needs surrounding heart failure. Every country should have a written strategic plan of reducing the burden of heart failure. Public awareness campaigns are needed to help everyone understand the symptoms of heart failure. Reliable data are also critical to identify what needs to be done to improve outcomes for patients, making best use of available resources.


Economic case

  • At least 15 million adults live with heart failure in Europe.3
  • The prevalence of heart failure is expected to increase by 25% by 2030 (US figures).4
  • Heart failure is the leading contributor to unplanned hospital re-admissions.5
  • In some countries, it is the second most common reason for hospital admission after natural childbirth.6
  • Evidence-based investment and planning could help to prevent a crisis, if we start now before the expected rise in the number of patients living with heart failure in the future.7

The Patient's view

“Public awareness is very poor for heart failure. People don’t really understand what it is. Some patients don’t even understand what it is. When I received my diagnosis, I’m not sure that I understood what heart failure was. It took a long time to get the information I was looking for.”

Sam, a woman living with heart failure

Priorities for action:

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  • Lloyd-Jones DM, Larson MG, Leip EP, et al. Lifetime risk for developing congestive heart failure: the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 2002;106(24):3068-72.

  • Adler ED, Goldfinger JZ, Kalman J, et al. Palliative Care in the Treatment of Advanced Heart Failure. Circulation 2009;120(25):2597-606.

  • Dickstein K, Cohen‐Solal A, Filippatos G, et al. ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure 2008. European journal of heart failure 2008;10(10):933-89.

  • Heidenreich PA, Trogdon JG, Khavjou OA, et al. Forecasting the Future of Cardiovascular Disease in the United States: A Policy Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2011.

  • Gheorghiade M, al. e. Rehospitalisation for heart failure: problems and perspectives. J Am Coll Cardiol 2013;61:391-403.

  • Salute Md. Rapporto annuale sull'attività di ricovero ospedaliero (Dati SDO 2013), 2014.

  • Ponikowski P, Anker S, AlHabib K, et al. Heart failure: preventing disease and death worldwide. : European Society of Cardiology., 2014.