Friday, August 19, 2005

New Heart Failure Guidelines Released

The American Heart Association website on heart failure, with resources for clinicians and patients, is here. The pdf file of the new guidelines is here. From the press release:
Early diagnosis and new treatments can help battle heart failure — a growing national problem that causes 1 million hospital admissions each year, according to new guidelines released today by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA).
The guidelines describe four stages of heart failure:
  • Stages A and B are when patients lack early signs or symptoms of heart failure, but are at risk because of risk factors or heart abnormalities, which could include a change in the shape or structure of the heart.
  • Stage C denotes patients with current or past heart failure symptoms such as shortness of breath.
  • Stage D designates patients with refractory heart failure who might be eligible for specialized advanced treatment — including cardiac transplantation — or compassionate end-of-life care such as hospice.
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