• Chronic heart failure (CHF) is found in 1.5/6-2.0% of Australians. Considered rare in people aged less than 45 years, its prevalence increases to over 10% in people aged, ≥65 years. • CHF is one of the most common reasons for hospital admission and general practitioner consultation in the elderly (≥ 70 years). • Common causes of CHF are ischaemic heart disease (present in > 50% of new cases), hypertension (about two-thirds of cases) and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (around 5%-10% of cases). • Diagnosis is based on clinical features, chest x-ray and objective measurement of ventricular function (eg, echocardiography). Plasma levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) may have a role in diagnosis, primarily as a test for exclusion. Diagnosis may be strengthened by a beneficial clinical response to treatment(s) directed towards amelioration of symptoms. • Management involves prevention, early detection, amelioration of disease progression, relief of symptoms, minimisation of exacerbations, and prolongation of survival.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Medical Journal of Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Nov 2006|