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Peptide for Life

An initiative of the Heart Failure Association of the ESC

Heart Failure Association

Both the universal definition of heart failure and European guidelines have put natriuretic peptide testing centre stage for better heart failure diagnosis and management. Natriuretic peptide adoption across Europe is heterogeneous, and a better understanding of factors relative to education, access and reimbursement is key.

Knowledge and access to natriuretic peptides for diagnosis of heart failure

Natriuretic peptides (NP) have been traditionally mainly considered to exclude (rule out) the diagnosis of heart failure (HF). More recently, NPs have been introduced in the universal definition of HF and in the ESC guidelines also to corroborate the diagnosis of HF (rule-in). Both in the emergency departments and in primary care setting, NP measurement in patients with breathlessness leads to earlier and more accurate diagnoses of HF, resulting in clinical and economic benefits. Thus, measurement of NPs saves lives, time, and money.

Despite this evidence, NP applicability is still limited in clinical practice both in urgent and primary care settings. In the UK alone, estimates suggest there are approx. 400,000 people with heart failure who are currently undetected, undiagnosed and, consequently, missing out on life-preserving treatments. These numbers are on the rise due to several factors including the anticipated exponential growth in ageing population. There is evidence that nearly 80% of heart failure is diagnosed in hospital where 40% of people had symptoms that should have triggered an earlier assessment in primary care in the months.

To inventory the current knowledge on the use of NPs and access both in the emergency departments and primary care, the HFA invited clinical cardiologists and heart failure specialists to answer a survey on their current practice of natriuretic peptides use.

Results will be used to prepare a document to generate awareness and advocacy on the need for equity and access of natriuretic peptides for early diagnosis of heart failure. A short survey report will also be made available on this webpage.