A closer look at acute heart failure: Putting Portuguese and European data into perspective

Cândida Fonseca, Inês Araújo, Filipa Marques, Daniel Brás, Paulo Bettencourt

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction and Objectives Acute heart failure (AHF) is a heterogeneous clinical syndrome requiring urgent therapy. The prognosis is poor after the index hospitalization, with a high risk for rehospitalization and early death. The costs of managing AHF are thus increasing rapidly. A literature review was performed to gather and compare data on prevalence and treatment and to identify gaps in AHF management, based on European and Portuguese studies. Methods A literature search from 1995 to 2014 was conducted in selected databases (BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE and Ovid MEDLINE). Results and Discussion Seven Portuguese and nine European studies were analyzed. The mean age of AHF patients was ≥65 years and 30-50% were women. Coronary artery disease (42.3% vs. 61.9%) and hypertension (53.3% vs. 76.7%) were identified as primary etiologies in Europe and in Portugal. Similar proportions of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction were found in the Portuguese (19.9-44.7%) and European (32.8-39.1%) studies. Overall, all-cause mortality rates were comparable (six months: 9.3-25.5% vs. 13.5-27.4%; one year: 15.9-31% vs. 17.4-46.5%), as was in-hospital mortality (5.5-14% vs. 3.8-12%) in Portuguese and European studies, respectively. Length of stay was comparable. The studies were performed in very different hospital settings and data on treatment were scarce. Conclusions Gaps were identified in treatment and clinical pathways of patients with AHF. Based on the results of this review, collection and investigation of data on the disease and treatment solutions, training in disease management, and improved organization of healthcare should be the subject of further investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-304
Number of pages14
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Cardiologia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Acute heart failure
  • Acute phase treatment
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Heart failure
  • Portugal
  • Registries


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