Experts warn delayed diagnosis and upward trends in heart failure hospital admissions cause for concern

Clinicians, patients, carers and politicians are joining leading charity hearts4heart in urging Australians to be smart about their heart, as they kick off Australia’s inaugural Heart Failure Awareness Week (June 27 – July 3).

Now affecting 1 in 50 Australians, heart failure is becoming increasingly common and expected to rise, as more people survive heart attacks, live longer, and experience heart issues that lead to this potentially debilitating and long-term condition.

Heart failure claims the lives of 61,000 lives annually, and it’s the number one cause of hospitalisation in people over age 65.

“Unfortunately, dangerously low levels of awareness about heart failure are leaving Australians vulnerable,” said hearts4heart CEO Tanya Hall, who lost her father to heart failure when he was just 59.

“To help patients affected by heart failure to feel better and live longer, healthier lives, GPs need to recognise heart failure symptoms and know the appropriate clinical pathway for diagnosis,” said Ms Hall.

Cardiologist A/Prof John Amerena agrees: “Delayed diagnosis and upward trends in Australian heart failure admissions are reasons for concern.”

“When left untreated, heart failure progressively worsens, but with early diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle changes, a person with heart failure can reduce their risk of hospitalisation and improve their quality of life,” A/Prof John Amerena said.

To assist with early identification of heart failure symptoms and provide guidance on the appropriate clinical pathway for diagnosis, hearts4heart’s Medical Advisory Committee has developed a new tool based on the Australian consensus of the recent European Society of Cardiologists (ESC) heart failure guidelines.

Recognising Heart Failure can be used to guide GPs in their response to patients presenting with heart failure symptoms and is available for

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