What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure (HF) is a complex chronic condition that is associated with significant impairment in quality of life, frequent hospitalization, and progressive disability. With a prevalence of 3.5%, recent estimates suggest that HF affects approximately 1,000,000 Canadians with at least 50,000 new patients diagnosed each year.  The median survival for chronic HF patients is 1.7 years for men and 3.2 years for women. The risk of HF mortality is high and can reach to 98.8% over a 10-year period. 
HF is also associated with an enormous economic burden, costing Canada an estimated $3 billion each year with the majority of costs attributable to hospitalization and other health care services, medications, and missed days of work. Along with COPD, HF-related hospitalizations are the major drivers of avoidable admissions. 
Previous studies have shown that the more comprehensive and integrated the system-level management of HF patients is, the greater the improvement in patient- and system-level outcomes. Currently, HF care in Canada is technology naïve, fragmented and uncoordinated with siloed initiatives offered to some HF patients, leading to disparities in access and provision of HF care across our vast geography. 

Learn more at Heart and Stroke: Heart failure.

"Understanding Heart Failure", Copyright © 2015 Heart and Stroke. All rights reserved.