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Heart Failure Implementation

ESC Congress 2008 - ESC 2008 New Releases Guidelines

Munich, Germany, Tuesday 2 September 2008: Heart failure is a leading cause of death and hospitalisation and represents a major burden on health services. It is estimated that over 15 million people in Europe suffer from heart failure and the syndrome accounts for over 2% of national expenditure on health. The new guidelines on heart failure from the European Society of Cardiology are eagerly awaited.

The guidelines are developed through a rigorous process involving a task force of 15 experts in the field and a review committee of 21 international authorities.

The 2008 ESC guidelines cover for the first time both acute and chronic heart failure. Indeed, the guidelines have built upon the realisation that patients with acute heart failure often develop chronic problems and likewise, those with chronic heart failure, often suffer from acute illness.

The paper reviews diagnostic techniques, both pharmaceutical and device therapy, as well as non-pharmacological management. Unlike past guidelines, the 2008 document sees greater emphasis placed on the importance of implementing treatment recommendations and management of palliative care. The document also summarises the major "gaps in evidence" in an attempt to focus future clinical research on important issues that have not been adequately addressed. As such, the paper addresses issues that cardiologists are aware of, but do not have evidence for.

The 2008 guidelines will be launched at the ESC congress in Munich on September 1. The full text will be published simultaneously in the European Heart Journal and the European Journal of Heart Failure in September. This document is important and largely determines treatment strategy for the most common clinical problem in medicine in the 51 countries in greater Europe. Readers can look forward to a user-friendly document, written in straightforward language thus making for an enjoyable read.

Notes to editor

This press release accompanies both a presentation and an ESC press conference given at the ESC Congress 2008. Written by the investigator himself/herself, this press release does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology.