Heart Failure Guidelines Update: Emphasis on Prevention

Heart failure (HF) prevalence is on the rise and is expected to increase by 46% by 2030. With over 6.5 million Americans impacted by HF, efforts toward prevention are paramount. On April 28, 2017, the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association (AHA) and the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) released an updated guideline for the management of HF.

Several aspects of this new guideline place emphasis on HF prevention including early identification to halt the progression of symptoms. New recommendations, based on substantive evidence, include the use of natriuretic peptide biomarkers to assist in screening, early diagnosis and prompt treatment with guideline based interventions. 

A new section on hypertension was added to the guideline, with an optimal blood pressure (BP) target of less than 130/80 mmHg, aimed at reducing HF incidence. Additional recommendations are provided for systolic BP targets in patients with Stage C HF as well as the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disordered breathing and anemia.

The 2017 update (full article in Circulation) is an extension of the prior guideline released in May 2016 with a focus on new pharmacotherapies for HF that have demonstrated outcomes including prevention of hospitalization and death.

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