Heart Failure

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


This chapter provides an overview of heart failure, prevalence and mechanisms followed by an update on the clinical management. The prevalence heart failure is likely to increase over the next few decades with the increase in world population and in over 65 years. With increasing age, there are alterations in structure and function of the heart and vasculature which may eventually affect the cardiovascular performance. Age is the most important factor in cardiovascular risk scores. Heart failure is largely a disease of the elderly and is the major cause of disability in the elderly. The elderly are inclined to developing heart failure as a result of age-related changes in the cardiovascular system and high prevalence of coronary heart disease and hypertension. Older patients could present with confusion, sleeplessness, agitation, depression, loss of appetite or nausea, weakness, cough and breathlessness on exertion. The management of heart failure is dictated by the mechanism underlying the heart failure. Patients with systolic heart failure had higher death rates than patients with diastolic heart failure although the death rates in the latter group were still much higher than those without heart failure. There have been considerable advances in the treatment of heart failure, yet the mortality remains high at 50% after 5 years. The case for heart failure prevention is very strong. The impact of heart failure will significantly increase with the population ageing and poses a heavy burden on the healthcare system.


Heart failure Systolic heart failure Diastolic heart failure Impact of heart failure B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) Cardiovascular ageing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

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