New and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat heart failure are needed, says a leading heart charity after official statistics revealed a surge in hospital visits.
Analysis of figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show the number of admissions, appointments and emergencies linked to heart failure are now at record levels, having increased by more than a third in the past decade.
“An increasing number of people are subsequently living with the debilitating impact of heart failure”
The total number of hospital visits by heart failure patients in England shot up 36% from 107,000 in 2004-05 to 146,000 in 2014-15.
Part of the reason for the increase is deemed to be because more people are surviving heart attacks.
However, the British Heart Foundation described the rise as “deeply concerning”, and said the figures highlighted the need for more prevention work and research.
“Our research has helped to drastically improve survival rates from heart attack and seven in 10 people now survive,” said BHF medical director Professor Peter Weissberg.
“But this means an increasing number of people are subsequently living with the debilitating impact of heart failure,” he said.
“Heart failure can leave sufferers constantly short of breath and sadly many will die within a year of being admitted to hospital,” said Dr Weissberg.
Professor Peter Weissberg
“We urgently need to fund more research into the condition and find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat heart failure,” he added.
Analysis of GP data by the BHF shows there are now 411,000 in England diagnosed with heart failure, compared to 402,000 reported the year before.
The condition affects more than 500,000 people across the UK, including 75,000 under the age of 75, according to the charity.
It has helped fund research into regenerative medicine that can help repair the heart after a heart attack.