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Updated Guideline for Management of Heart Failure

ACC/AHA emphasize quality of life, care coordination, palliative care (June 5)

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have released an expanded clinical practice guideline for the management of patients with heart failure, updating definitions and classifications for heart failure and increasing the emphasis on patient-centric outcomes, such as quality of life, shared decision-making, care coordination, transitions, and palliative care.

Approximately 5.1 million Americans have clinical heart failure. More than 670,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, resulting in more than $30 billion of total healthcare costs.

Highlights of the 2013 Heart Failure Guideline include updated definitions and classifications for heart failure, a more focused approach to dilated cardiomyopathies, new indications for aldosterone antagonists, and important considerations for more discriminate use of cardiac resynchronization therapy.

The document also discusses greater adherence to performance and quality measures (with recommendations to reduce readmissions) and places an even greater emphasis on patient-centric outcomes, such as quality-of-life issues, shared-decision making, care coordination, transition of care, and palliative care.

The updated guideline was issued June 5 on the ACC and AHA Web sites, and will be published in the Aug. 27 print issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Source: AHA; June 5, 2013.

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