Epidemiology of Heart Failure: A Contemporary Perspective

Véronique L. Roger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Designated as an emerging epidemic in 1997, heart failure (HF) remains a major clinical and public health problem. This review focuses on the most recent studies identified by searching the Medline database for publications with the subject headings HF, epidemiology, prevalence, incidence, trends between 2010 and present. Publications relevant to epidemiology and population sciences were retained for discussion in this review after reviewing abstracts for relevance to these topics. Studies of the epidemiology of HF over the past decade have improved our understanding of the HF syndrome and of its complexity. Data suggest that the incidence of HF is mostly flat or declining but that the burden of mortality and hospitalization remains mostly unabated despite significant ongoing efforts to treat and manage HF. The evolution of the case mix of HF continues to be characterized by an increasing proportion of cases with preserved ejection fraction, for which established effective treatments are mostly lacking. Major disparities in the occurrence, presentation, and outcome of HF persist particularly among younger Black men and women. These disturbing trends reflect the complexity of the HF syndrome, the insufficient mechanistic understanding of its various manifestations and presentations and the challenges of its management as a chronic disease, often integrated within a context of aging and multimorbidity. Emerging risk factors including omics science offer the promise of discovering new mechanistic pathways that lead to HF. Holistic management approaches must recognize HF as a syndemic and foster the implementation of multidisciplinary approaches to address major contributors to the persisting burden of HF including multimorbidity, aging, and social determinants of health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1434
Number of pages14
JournalCirculation research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 14 2021


  • chronic disease
  • heart failure
  • prevalence
  • risk factor
  • syndemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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