What is heart failure?

Heart failure is considered by international experts as an authentic cardiovascular epidemic of our century. 10% of the population older than 70 years suffering from heart failure, both in Spain and in the rest of the developed countries. The progressive aging of the population, the greater survival of patients after myocardial infarction and the better control of the factors of cardiovascular risk (high blood pressure, diabetes), have produced a progressive increase in the number of people who have heart failure.

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However, as well as myocardial infarction form already part of the "popular culture", heart failure remains still a great unknown to the general population and health authorities. Not been performed so far sufficient effort in the reporting at the level of society of what are fundamental characteristics of the disease, and the great impact that patients suffer from it.

In Spain the heart failure is not adequately known. A study of nearly 8,000 people in 9 European countries has shown that, in Spain, although 91% of respondents had heard of heart failure only 3% identified it correctly based on your symptoms and typical signs. 90% believed that the presence of the syndrome recommended to reduce any physical activity and 34% considered the heart failure as a normal consequence of aging. Only 9% thought that the heart failure produced one greater than cancer, HIV or diabetes health spending. Finally, 67% said that patients with heart failure than patients living with cancer. The previous answers show that the general public has a misconception of what is and what are the consequences of heart failure.

It is required a greater awareness of its enormous impact on physical capacity, quality of life and survival of patients who suffer from it. In this context, heart failure units are now the best global approach of this complex disease. All aspects of the disease are covered in these units: diagnosis, prognosis (individualized for each patient) and the implementation of the best possible treatment within current scientific knowledge.