Heart Failure Prevalence: It Is Only Going to Get Worse1,2

Despite improvements in care as well as better prognoses in other cardiac conditions, chronic heart failure morbidity and mortality remain high. Due to the progressive nature of the disease, it continues to be associated with a significant risk of hospitalization and death.3-6

Why is this so concerning? Because the incidence of heart failure increases with age. The result is that as the baby boomer generation grows older, heart failure will grow in prevalence. In addition, improved survival and "salvage" of patients with myocardial infarction (MI) will contribute to increasing prevalence. Finally, an increase in risk factors such as hypertension is also fueling the increasing prevalence.7

In fact, over 8 million people in the US may have heart failure by 2030. One of the most common reasons for hospitalization in patients aged 65 years and older, heart failure places an escalating burden on patients, caregivers, and the entire healthcare system. Each year, 960,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed, and a person at age 45 has a 1 in 5 lifetime risk of developing heart failure.1,2,8

5.7 million Americans with heart failure.

  MI = myocardial infarction.

*Epidemiology projected using a methodology developed by the American Heart Association.


Acute heart failure (AHF): a growing epidemic

  • AHF is the #1 cause of hospitalization for patients aged >65 years in the US10,11

>1 million heart failure hospitalizations occur every year1

More on the Burden of AHF


  1. Benjamin EJ, Blaha MJ, Chiuve SE, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2017 update; a report from the American Heart Association [published online ahead of print January 25, 2017]. Circulation. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000485.
  2. Heidenreich PA, Albert NM, Allen LA, et al. Forecasting the impact of heart failure in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circ Heart Fail. 2013;6(3):606-619.
  3. Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Kasper DL, et al, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2008.
  4. Yancy CW, Jessup M, Bozkurt B, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of heart failure: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2013;128(16):e240-e327.
  5. Young JB, Dunlap ME, Pfeffer MA, Candesartan in Heart failure Assessment of Reduction in Mortality and morbidity (CHARM) Investigators and Committees. Mortality and morbidity reduction with Candesartan in patients with chronic heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction: results of the CHARM low-left ventricular ejection fraction trials. Circulation. 2004;110(17):2618-2826.
  6. Gheorghiade M, De Luca L, Fonarow GC, Filippatos G, Metra M, Francis GS. Pathophysiologic targets in the early phase of acute heart failure syndromes. Am J Cardiol. 2005;96(6A):11G-17G.
  7. Velagaleti RS, Vasan R. Epidemiology of heart failure. In: Mann DL, ed. Heart Failure: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease. 2nd ed. St. Louis: Saunders; 2011.
  8. Wier LM, Pfuntner A, Maeda J, et al. HCUP Facts and Figures: Statistics on Hospital-based Care in the United States, 2009. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2011 http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports.jsp. Accessed December 1, 2016.
  9. Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2015.
  10. Pfuntner A, Wier LM, Stocks C. HCUP Statistical Brief #162: Most Frequent Conditions in U.S. Hospitals, 2011. https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb162.pdf. Published September 2013. Accessed January 11, 2017.
  11. Agarwal SK, Wruck L, Quibrera M, et al. Temporal trends in hospitalization for acute decompensated heart failure in the United States, 1998-2011. Am J Epidemiol. 2016;183(5):462-470.
  12. Chang PP, Chambless LE, Shahar E, et al. Incidence and survival of hospitalized acute decompensated heart failure in four US communities (from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study). Am J Cardiol. 2014;113(3):504-510.