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Acute heart failure: Epidemiology, classification, and pathophysiology 

Acute heart failure: Epidemiology, classification, and pathophysiology
Acute heart failure: Epidemiology, classification, and pathophysiology

Dimitrios Farmakis

, John Parissis

, George Papingiotis

, and Gerasimos Filippatos



14 new references; 3 new further readings

Updated 3 Tables and 1 Figure

Updated on 22 February 2018. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 11 July 2020

Acute heart failure is defined as the rapid development or change of symptoms and signs of heart failure that requires urgent medical attention and usually hospitalization. Acute heart failure is the first reason for hospital admission in individuals aged 65 or more and accounts for nearly 70% of the total health care expenditure for heart failure. It is characterized by an adverse prognosis, with an in-hospital mortality rate of 4–7%, a 2–3-month post-discharge mortality of 7–11%, and a 2–3-month readmission rate of 25–30%. The majority of patients have a previous history of heart failure and present with normal or increased blood pressure, while about half of them have preserved left ventricular ejection fraction. A high prevalence of cardiovascular or non-cardiovascular comordid conditions is further observed, including coronary artery disease, arterial hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes mellitus, renal dysfunction, chronic lung disease, and anaemia.

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