Reduction in mortality rates for heart failure

An independent study by the National Heart Failure Audit shows that hundreds more people are now surviving heart failure in the UK.

The audit is the largest of its kind ever compiled and is based on 66 995 hospital admissions for heart failure in England and Wales between April 2015 and March 2016. Results showed that the mortality of patients hospitalised for heart failure was 8.9%, which is a significant reduction when compared with the 9.6% mortality from the 2014-2015 figures and equates to the saving of around 500 lives.

In commenting on the results, the authors of the report said: “This year’s report shows modest but important improvements, which are to be celebrated. However, mortality remains too high and there are large variations in mortality amongst hospitals.”

The results also showed that more than 90% of patients presenting with heart failure received an echocardiogram, whilst 80% of patients were also seen by a heart failure specialist, which is associated with an improvement in patient mortality. The number of prescriptions for key disease-modifying medicines in patients with heart failure and a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction has also increased, from 45% in 2014/2015 to 47% of patients now being seen by a specialist and receiving all three of the key prescriptions (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers and mineralocorticoid antagonists).

Sir Bruce Keogh, National Medical Director at NHS England, said: “This independent study shows that improvements to NHS heart failure services have had a significant positive impact for people suffering this devastating condition. Increasing numbers of patients are getting specialist help and the full range of treatments.”

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