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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 1998 Jul-Aug;41(1 Suppl 1):65-72.

Treatment guidelines in heart failure.

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  • 1Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Center, Tufts University and New England Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111-1533, USA.


The risk of heart failure increases with age. Prognosis is poor, with 82% of patients dying within 6 years of diagnosis. As the population ages, heart failure is becoming an increasing problem. Heart failure is a complex disease that may be managed in a variety of ways depending on its severity and cause. A wide range of pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapeutic measures are available to relieve symptoms and prolong life. These have changed considerably in the last decade. Cardiology experts in the United States and Europe have developed guidelines for the diagnosis and management of heart failure. These are intended to help physicians to keep up with therapeutic developments and to encourage more appropriate and cost-effective management of patients with heart failure. The European guidelines were updated more recently than their US counterparts and consequently contain certain new developments, such as the inclusion of the latest data on beta-blockers, including carvedilol, that have shown morbidity and mortality rate benefits in patients with mild-to-moderate heart failure. As the management of heart failure is changing rapidly, regular schemes for updating of guidelines are being considered.

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