“HF is the biggest threat to our health care systems
- yet very few people know about it.”
Dr Jose Ramon Juanatey, President of the Spanish Society of Cardiology
Heart failure is a serious chronic condition where the heart cannot
pump enough blood to support the needs of other organs in the body.
What causes heart failure? The most common causes of heart failure in Europe include coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack), congenital heart defects or damaged heart valves.
What are the symptoms of heart failure? Red flag symptoms include breathlessness, fatigue and swollen limbs. Signs of heart failure may also be associated with an underlying cardiac disorder.
How does heart failure manifest itself? Patients may have symptoms of heart failure for many years before receiving a proper diagnosis. Most often, heart failure is diagnosed when patients have an acute episode, due to worsening of their symptoms, and requiring emergency
“Public awareness is very poor for heart failure. People don’t really understand what it is. Some patients don’t even understand what it is. When I received my diagnosis, I’m not sure that I understood what heart failure was. It took a long time to get the information I was looking for.”
Sam, a woman living with heart failure
HF carries a significant cost for our health care systems and society in general.
Many people with HF report ‘living in the shadow of fear’ – i.e. that life is deeply and constantly affected by the emotional strain of HF.
“We have one opportunity to get this right.
If we don’t, a tsunami of costs will hit us” Nick Hartshorne-Evans, CEO of The Pumping Marvellous Foundation and President, iHHUB
To meet this challenge, the HF Policy Network, a unique group of politicians working with patients and cardiologists from across Europe, developed the HF Policy Toolkit.
The Toolkit aims to support decision-makers to identify priorities for action and implement policy changes that will help improve the lives of people with HF across Europe.
Members have volunteered their time to build the HF Policy Toolkit and other key materials, and to work together to help improve the lives of people living with heart failure.
A ten point call to action, covering:
To read the full Call to Action, click here