Heart Failure

Heart Failure (HF), also referred to as congestive heart failure (CHF), is a cardiovascular disease syndrome arising when the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It has multiple causes and can eventually progress to a life-threatening syndrome with significant morbidity and mortality, poor functional capacity and quality of life, as well as high medical costs.

In 2023, HF had an estimated global prevalence of 64 million people with a treatment cost of nearly $350 billion. In the USA, currently 6.7 million people suffer from HF with treatment costs reaching $45 billion, estimated to rise to 8 million people by 2030 at a cost of $70 billion. HF is the most costly Medicare disease diagnosis in the USA, and the most common and expensive reason for preventable hospital stays.

heart figurine
heart figurine

In 2020, HF was a contributing cause of death in approximately 420,000 people in the USA, and the primary cause of death in 85,855 Americans.

The prevalence of heart failure is inexorably increasing in the USA and worldwide due to the aging of populations, improved diagnostics and treatments for other heart disease conditions, and the availability of effective evidence-based therapies prolonging life in patients with established heart failure, most notably heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

The heart is a muscle and, like all muscles, can lose function with disease or aging. Though HF is usually progressive, in early stages, the heart’s inefficiencies can sometimes be reversed, slowed or stabilized with treatment and lifestyle changes. However, if not addressed effectively, heart damage advances. Pharmaceuticals can address some HF symptoms; however, these drugs have side effects that are often unpleasant and can adversely affect other physical and mental functions. Further, all symptoms may not be alleviated and heart damage can nonetheless progress. As the heart continues to weaken, pharmaceutical treatments, even adding treatment such as CRT devices, become less effective. At that point, mobility and life style will have been impacted greatly. Blood contact VADs, heart transplantation or palliative care then become the end stage HF treatment options. VADs and heart transplantation options are limited and out of the reach of many patients.