Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome of symptoms and signs that suggest the efficiency of the heart as a pump is impaired. It is caused by structural or functional abnormalities of the heart. Around 920,000 people in the UK today have been diagnosed with heart failure. Both the incidence and prevalence of heart failure increase steeply with age, and the average age at diagnosis is 77.
Improvements in care have increased survival for people with ischaemic heart disease, and treatments for heart failure have become more effective. But the overall prevalence of heart failure is rising because of population ageing and increasing rates of obesity.
This guideline covers diagnosing and managing chronic heart failure in people aged 18 and over. It aims to improve diagnosis and treatment to increase the length and quality of life for people with heart failure.