Heart Failure: Definition, Diagnosis and Risk Stratification

Heart failure is a complex cardiovascular disorder with a variety of etiologies and heterogeneity with respect to the clinical presentation of the patient. It is significantly increasing in prevalence with an aging population and is associated with high short- and long-term mortality rate.

Significance of Heart Failure

  • Heart failure is the only cardiovascular disease with increasing prevalence.
  • Over 80% of patients diagnosed and treated for acute heart failure in the emergency department are readmitted within the forthcoming year, incurring costly treatments and therapies.
  • In patients over 65 years old, heart failure is both the most common hospital diagnosis and the most costly Medicare diagnosis.
  • The prognosis for a patient with heart failure is worse than for most cancers.

While BNP and NT-proBNP can be used for prognostic purposes, new biomarkers are available that can assist in the prognosis for patients already diagnosed with heart failure, and can aid in risk stratification, earlier detection of treatment failure, and therapeutic targets.



This post was authored by the Marketing Team at Mayo Clinic Laboratories.