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Forecasting Heart Failure’s Impact

Forecasting Heart Failure’s Impact

Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of hospitalization for people aged 65 and older in the United States. The disease is an important healthcare issue due to its high prevalence, mortality, morbidity, and cost of care. The prevalence of HF increases with age, and research has shown that about half of all Medicare beneficiaries with the disease do not survive for up to 3 years after hospitalization. “The number of hospitalizations for HF has decreased slightly in recent years,” says Paul A. Heidenreich, MD, MS, “but the cost of caring for the disease remains high and will continue to be a major concern for the U.S. healthcare system.” If present care practices continue, it is expected that costs for managing HF will increase significantly. Several factors fuel this expectation, most notably the likely increase in the number of patients who will survive longer as more life-prolonging therapies are developed. The aging population and greater numbers of people with underlying conditions that contribute to the development of HF (eg, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes) will also have an impact. Evaluating Trends of Heart Failure Costs In an American Heart Association (AHA) policy statement published in Circulation: Heart Failure, Dr. Heidenreich and colleagues provided an in-depth look at how the changing demographics in the U.S. will impact the prevalence and cost of care for HF. According to findings, more than 8 million Americans—or one in every 33 people—will have HF by 2030. This represents a 46% increase from the estimated 5 million people who had HF in 2012. Because of aging of the population, the increase in HF will...
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