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Clinical Articles, Lead Article

Improving care for patients with AHF

The effectiveness of clear policy initiatives for reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) is highlighted by a recent report1 from the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology. “Change at the policy level has the power to save lives and the potential for more efficient use of resources,” say the authors.

“Much-needed changes in management, protocols and procedures can and should be initiated now,” they continue, adding that “potentially life-saving treatments are often not prescribed appropriately on discharge from hospital, and about 25% of patients are readmitted within a month.”

Acute heart failure (AHF) is a life-threatening medical emergency, and is one of the most common reasons for admission to hospital. This major new report sets out recommendations for policy change relating to AHF.

Whilst the report is not intended to be clinical guidelines on how to treat all the contributing factors of AHF atrial fibrillation is clearly acknowledged as a coexisting condition and contributing factor for heart failure.

Screen shot 2014-04-30 at 12.52.57

Eve Knight (AntiCoagulation Europe)

Speaking to BJC Arrhythmia Watch, Eve Knight, Chief Executive and Co-founder of AntiCoagulation Europe, said: “The seriousness of heart failure is often not recognized, particularly as it can coexist with other conditions. In fact only 3% of respondents correctly identified heart failure from a description of typical signs and symptoms (“breathlessness, tiredness, or swollen ankles”) in the Study of Heart Failure Awareness and Perception in Europe (SHAPE) survey of almost 8000 people in nine European countries”.

“Public education programmes about heart failure are needed to highlight the seriousness of the disease, raise awareness of its signs and symptoms and promote heart failure prevention messages such as smoking cessation, healthy diet and exercise,” she added.


1. Cowie MR, Anker SD, Cleland JGF, et al. Improving care for patients with acute heart failure: before, during and after hospitalisation. Oxford PharmaGenesis Ltd. 2014. Available from:

Published on: April 30, 2014

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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