Epidemiology, hospitalization and health care costs from heart failure in Australia: A systematic review
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Background: Heart failure is a global public health problem. Its prevalence is projected to rise due to an increase in population aging. Although there are no nationally representative population-based estimates, individual studies have shown that heart failure is a significant cause of morbidity and hospitalization in Australia. Aim: To conduct a systematic review the literature on epidemiology, hospitalization and health care costs of heart failure in Australia. Methods: Embase, MEDLINE, MeSH and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) databases were searched for relevant publications on heart failure from Australia between Sep 1980 and Oct 2014. Results: Twenty-one studies were included in this review. The overall incidence of heart failure was estimated to be 2.1 per 1000, and 5.9 per 1000 person-years in 65 to 84 year-old hypertensive subjects. The prevalence of heart failure was 1.3%, and rose with age up to 7% in those 75 years or older. Hospitalization rates due to heart failure as a primary and secondary diagnosis were 1.8 and 3.4 per 1000 population, respectively. Approximately three-quarters of heart failure patients were readmitted within a year. The mortality rate due to heart failure was 17.1 per 100,000 person-years and 228 per 1000 in those with known heart failure. The median health care cost per heart failure patient per month was 560 Australian dollars. Conclusions: There is a significant burden of heart failure in Australia. Further population-level studies on a nationally representative population using objective methods of ascertainment are recommended.
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