Prevalence & Incidence


 Prevalence and Incidence


Heartfailure is a major public health problem in the United States and other developed countries, especially in the elderly (≥ 65 years of age). The prevalence and incidence of heart failure are rising sharply because of both an aging population and therapeutic advances in the management of heart failure leading to improved survival in patients with impaired cardiac function.1 Heart failure is the leading cause of death in developed countries and the single most common cause for medical admissions to the hospital in persons older than 65 years of age in the United States. Approximately 300,000 deaths per year in the United States are directly attributable to heart failure.2



·         An estimated six million people in the United States have heart failure and over 23 million worldwide.3

·         Heart failure is a progressive disease. Its prevalence increases sharply with advancing age, from < 1% in the 20- to 39-year age group to > 20% in persons ≥ 80 years of age2  See Figure 1 (adapted from Prisant et al.)4

·         It is estimated that by 2030, an additional 1.5 million people in the United States will have heart failure.3


Prevalence of Heart Failure Diagram

·         There are approximately 1 million primary and 3 million secondary admissions to the hospital per year in the United States.3

·         In the United States there is a higher prevalence of heart failure in African Americans as compared to the general population, especially at younger ages. Heart failure among African Americans is characterized by more adverse outcomes, including more frequent hospitalizations and higher mortality rates. The higher risk is most likely attributed to a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors, especially hypertension, in the African American population.5



·         Approximately 680,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed each year.3

·         For persons aged 40 years or older, the lifetime risk of developing heart failure for both men and women is 1 in 5.6.3

·         Seventy-five percent of individuals with heart failure have preexistent hypertension.2

·         The lifetime risk for individuals with blood pressure > 160/90 mm Hg is double that of those with blood pressure < 140/90 mm Hg.2


 Reference List

1.   Chen YT, Vaccarino V, Williams CS et al. Risk factors for heart failure in the elderly: a prospective community-based study. The American Journal of Medicine 1999;106:605-612.

2.   Bui AL, Horwich TB, Fonarow GC. Epidemiology and risk profile of heart failure. Nature Reviews Cardiology 2011;8:30-41.

3.   Vaduganathan M, Fonarow GC. Epidemiology of hospitalized heart failure. Heart Failure Clinics 2013;9:271-276.

4.   Prisant LM, Landolfo C, Thornton J, Robinson VJB. Heart Failure in the Older Hypertensive Patient. In: Prisant LM, ed. Hypertension in the Elderly. Totowa, New Jersey: Humana Press Inc.; 2005:197-228.

5.   Philbin EF, Weil HFC, Francis CA et al. Race-related differences among patients with left ventricular dysfunction: Observations from a biracial angiographic cohort. J Card Fail 2000;6:187-193.

6.   McKeag NA, McKinley MC, Woodside JV, Harbinson MT, McKeown PP. The Role of Micronutrients in Heart Failure. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2012;112:870-886.