Heart failure on the increase

24th November 2017

A new study has looked at the records of four million patients and found heart failure increased by 23% between 2002 and 2014 making it as common as the main four causes of cancer (lung, breast, bowel and prostate) combined.

The estimated total number of people living with heart failure in the UK increased by 23%, from 750,127 in 2002 to 920,616 in 2014. The findings also showed that 93,074 people from the sample size were diagnosed with heart failure which segmented into 47,427 men and 45,647 women.

The research was carried out by researchers from the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol, the University of Southampton, University College London, the University of Glasgow and Imperial College London.

The study found that the rise in heart failure is mainly caused by the increase in the number of older people in the UK. The number of people in the UK aged 65-69 rose by 36% between 2002 and 2014 making the older generation at greater risk of heart failure as heart disease incidence generally increases with age.

A key finding of the study was that the number of diseases, as well as heart failure, which patients have when they are diagnosed with heart failure, has significantly increased. During the period covered by the study the proportion of patients suffering three or more additional conditions rose from 68% to 87%.This suggests there will be ramifications and pressures on our current health services.

Jayne Partridge Support Nurse at Cardiomyopathy UK said” This was a large scale study of over 4 million individuals. The research provides a valuable insight into the incidence of heart failure within the UK with promising developments and advances in medical care.

However, this study does not report the underlying conditions causing heart failure symptoms in those individuals studied. Therefore the percentage of people with Cardiomyopathy and heart failure is not known which highlights the importance of reporting these cases when looking at heart failure incidence.”