Test Catalog

Heart Failure

Diagnosis, Definition, and Risk Stratification

February 2013

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a complex cardiovascular disorder with a variety of etiologies and heterogeneity with respect to the clinical presentation of the patient. It is significantly increasing in prevalence with an aging population and is associated with high short- and long-term mortality rate.

Significance of Heart Failure

  • Heart failure is the only cardiovascular disease with increasing prevalence.
  • Over 80% of patients diagnosed and treated for acute heart failure in the
    emergency department are readmitted within the forthcoming year, incurring costly treatments and therapies.1
  • In patients over 65 years old, heart failure is both the most common hospital diagnosis and the most costly Medicare diagnosis.
  • The prognosis for a patient with heart failure is worse than for most cancers.

Heart Failure Progression

Heart Failure Progression


  1. Weintraub NL, Collins SP, Pang PS, et al: Acute heart failure syndromes: emergency department presentation, treatment, and disposition: Current approaches and future aims: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2010;122:1975–1996
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