Athens, 14 May 2014.
The Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the
European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is calling for global policy change
relating to heart failure. An international white paper, Heart failure:
preventing disease and death worldwide, will be presented at an
endorsement event on 16 May 2014 in Athens, Greece, immediately before
the Heart Failure 2014 Congress.
The full text of the White Paper: Heart failure: preventing disease and death worldwide
is now available.
Approximately 15 million people
are living with heart failure in Europe,1
and 26 million worldwide.2
outlook is poor: survival rates are worse than those for bowel, breast
or prostate cancer, and the illness imposes a huge burden on patients,
caregivers and healthcare systems. Heart failure accounts for around
1–2% of the total healthcare budget in developed countries.3
alone, the total medical costs attributable to the disease were nearly
€3 billion in 2006.3
In the coming decades, the global rise of ageing
populations and detrimental lifestyle changes could more than double the
demands on healthcare systems in some countries.4
This represents a
burgeoning health and economic crisis which must be addressed.
of the disease is alarmingly poor among the general public and
healthcare professionals alike, resulting in many unnecessary premature
“Although there is no cure, heart failure can be
prevented, and most patients can be treated effectively to improve
quality of life and survival,” stressed Professor Stefan Anker,
President of the HFA. “People need to recognise the symptoms of heart
failure to help increase the opportunities for prevention,” added
Professor Piotr Ponikowski, Past President of the HFA. “Policy
initiatives that prioritise heart failure prevention and champion equity
of care for all would ease the strain on global healthcare systems and
improve outcomes for patients.”
preventing disease and death worldwide has been developed as part of the
Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme initiated by the HFA of the
ESC. Written by a distinguished author group led by Professor Piotr
Ponikowski (Wrocław, Poland) and including Professor Stefan Anker
(Berlin, Germany) and Professor Gerasimos Filippatos (Athens, Greece),
it will be presented at an endorsement event on 16 May 2014 in Athens.
Its aim is to raise awareness of heart failure across Europe and beyond.
“It is a great pleasure to host this auspicious international event,”
stated Professor Filippatos, Heart Failure 2014 Scientific Chairperson
and HFA President-Elect. “Here in Greece, there is substantial power to
improve national health by increasing public awareness of heart failure
and encouraging the type of healthy lifestyle that reduces risk.”
white paper examines the worldwide burden of heart failure and
highlights the challenges of dealing with the disease, with a clear Call
to Action for policy-makers. The evidence-based recommendations for
policy change include:
1. Promoting heart failure prevention through public awareness programmes.
2. Improving heart failure awareness among healthcare professionals
through the use of programmes to increase knowledge about the
prevention, diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of heart
3. Ensuring equity of care for all patients with heart failure.
4. Supporting and empowering patients and their caregivers to engage proactively in long-term care.
5. Promoting heart failure research.
of such initiatives at local, national and international levels has the
potential to reduce deaths from heart failure and to improve quality of
life for patients worldwide.
The white paper is a core component of the Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme of the HFA.