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Chronic heart failure still ‘a major issue’

Heart Failure 2016 Congress News

The enormous costs of mortality and hospitalisation among patients with decompensated chronic heart failure needs to be faced head-on to avoid spiralling healthcare costs, delegates will be warned this morning.

This stark message will form part of the final in-depth session at Heart Failure 2016 looking at key sections of the new ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure, developed with the Heart Failure Association (HFA).

This morning’s symposium, which will focus on chronic heart failure and its management, will examine the issues surrounding the management of decompensated chronic heart failure, as well as changes in the management pathway of chronic heart failure patients in general.

Chaired by Gerasimos Filippatos (University of Athens, Greece) alongside Stefan D. Anker (University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany), this morning’s session will emphasise the differences between the current recommendations for chronic heart failure and those contained in the previous version, published in 2012.

In the intervening four years, the changes between the two documents have been influenced by a number of positive and negative trials that have been published concerning the management of chronic heart failure. Moreover, the current therapy of patients with advanced heart failure improved with better management of comorbidities and improved survival after implantation of ventricular assist devices and cardiac transplantation.

Speaking to Heart Failure Congress News ahead of his session, Prof. Filippatos, who is also the outgoing president of the HFA, said that, among these, he and Prof. Anker will discuss the latest clinical trial data for novel therapies.

These include the novel combination drug that brings together the angiotensin receptor blocker valsartan with the neprilysin inhibitor sacubitril. It was recently approved for the treatment of symptomatic chronic heart failure in patients with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction.

Prof. Filippatos also explained that it was necessary to make changes to the treatment algorithm for chronic heart failure, so that it becomes more of a management programme. This reflects recent trials and guidelines on the use of diagnostic and treatment devices in chronic heart failure.

One of the biggest problems in the management of chronic heart failure, Prof. Filippatos emphasised, is the “huge” healthcare costs associated with decompensated chronic heart failure, primarily as a result of the costs dues to patient rehospitalisation.

“The majority of patients admitted to hospital with acute heart failure are cases of ‘decompensated’ chronic heart failure,” Prof. Filippatos said. This, he added, has made it necessary to have a task force devoted to the condition and the development of a novel treatment algorithm, which will be presented during this morning’s session.

View the session programme and access the resources on SP&P