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Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme

Building a common approach across and beyond Europe to raising heart failure awareness amongst targeted audiences

On 24 October 2015, during the HFA Summit, members of the Heart Failure Association Board and national Heart Failure Working Group Presidents signed a declaration designed to unanimously adopt a Call For Action in support of the HFA's Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme.


HFA Declaration 205

The HFA, the world’s largest heart failure organisation and heart failure working groups from national cardiac societies join forces to recommend united action, and declare that they believe that the global burden of heart failure is huge, and cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged. Preventing heart failure must become a strategic health priority for each and every country

Read the Declaration

The HFA White Paper "Heart failure: Preventing disease and death worldwide" (click to download) is available.

The White Paper aims to demonstrate the burden of the disease with a clear Call to Action which includes the establishment of a systematic approach to identifying target groups at risk from heart failure and appropriate prevention and treatment modalities which could serve as the basis for future international guidelines.

It has been distributed and presented to National Heart Failure Societies and Working Groups worldwide at the Endorsement Meeting that took place in Athens on 16 May 2014.

49 national heart failure working groups have endorsed the White Paper so far: 

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Belorussia
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Chinese Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Greece
  • Heart Failure Society of America
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lithuania
  • Macedonia
  • Moldavia
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Serbia
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

Why a Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme is needed

The complexity of the heart failure syndrome represents a major obstacle to adequate identification and diagnosis of untreated patients. But this also thwarts understanding of heart failure among politicians and the general public.

Heart failure awareness among healthcare professionals and non-medics is poor across the globe, in contrast to the recognition of cancer which is related to the global campaign oncologists have been conducting for some time.

Heart failure is a preventable disease.

Recent advances in therapy result in much better outcomes for patients which also make heart failure a treatable disease.

Heart failure treatment is seen differently according to geographical location.

There is clear evidence that the prevalence of heart failure will rise substantially over the next 20-30 years thus increasing the economic burden of prevention and treatment on society.

Specific Project Objectives

  • Identify gaps in the education of heart failure in different regions of the world and in the different countries.
  • Develop an international consensus paper to educate and help people to make decisions. This paper will inform policy makers, targeting action for implementation at national level.
  • Position heart failure as a serious health threat at international, EU and member state level.
  • Raise awareness of heart failure and available management options amongst key international, EU and national officials, health care providers and the general public.
  • Defend early diagnosis, treatment availability and better quality of life for all patients living with heart failure.
  • Present the most effective ways to prevent Heart failure and undertake all the measures to introduce them into everyday practice.

Methodology - Summary of Methods and Means

The unique combination of complementary partners at national, European and world levels is the most effective way to reach the objectives of this project. This partnership can be expressed as a synergy of public heart failure awareness and strategic and political expertise.

The wide scope of the project led the World Heart Failure Alliance to prioritize its actions. It was agreed by the partners that the first two targets to reach are policy makers and patient with heart failure risk.

The first step of this ambitious programme took place in December 2013:

The publication of the 'Acute Heart Failure Report - Improving Care for Patients with Acute Heart Failure'. The recommendations contained in this report have been endorsed and adopted by the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology as part of their Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme.

Thereon, the programme will be broken down into 2 phases:

Phase 1: 2013-2015

Phase 1 is divided into several steps:

    Write the white paper/call for action on heart failure
    Endorsement and Dissemination of the white paper on heart failure
    Prepare Phase 2 of the project

Phase 2: 2016-2018 - Strategy

• Use White Paper as the scientific rationale and Call to Action for advancing clinical practice globally in heart failure management

• Drive widespread awareness through media publicity and by generating scientific publications to amplify new information

• Enroll primary care physicians in earlier detection of HF patients by designing an HFA Patient activation plan and integrating this into HF Guidelines

• Formalise HF management within cardiac clinical practice in all countries through HFA accredited education and certification (physicians and nurses)

• Create health economic evidence to engage policy makers, government representatives

• Continue to work with National HF societies to support country initiatives

Endorsement meeting: 16 May 2014 - Programme and slides

Read the meeting report.

Phase 2: 2014-2018

Phase 2 actions will be adjusted according to the result of Phase 1.

  • Develop Heart Failure Awareness Campaign
  • Write a White Book which will highlight current and future epidemiological background and the associated economic burden and characterise the ways heart failure is managed in different regions of the world
  • Make studies on heart failure epidemiology and registries focused on quality of care improvement
  • Develop an educational website tool for patients in many languages

The Heart Failure Association of the ESC (HFA) designed the Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme. It is to be lead by the HFA (with its network of 40 National Heart Failure Societies), with the support of high-level representatives of heart failure groups in the European Society of Cardiology, the Heart Failure Society of America, the Heart Failure Society of South Africa, the Japanese Heart Failure Society and groups in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.

If you are an organisation interested in joining the Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme, please contact us.

The Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme is supported by Novartis Pharma AG and SERVIER in the form of an unrestricted educational grant.


European Society
of Cardiology

Les Templiers
2035 Route des Colles
CS 80179 BIOT
06903 Sophia Antipolis
Cedex France