NIH and Congestive Heart Failure

Identified by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as the latest epidemic to hit the U.S., Congestive Heart Failure CHF is a major health problem worldwide:

  • Some estimates show 550,000 new cases of CHF diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone
  • Currently, CHF accounts for 20% of all discharges in the over age 65 category; with the ageing demographic, this statistic is expected to increase significantly
  • Overall, the cost of treating CHF is very high ($38 billion annually in the U.S., representing 5.4% of total health care costs) and involves many physician visits (at least 11 million ambulatory visits per year)
  • From 1979 to 1999, CHF deaths increased 145% and hospital discharges increased 155%
  • The fatality rate for CHF is high, with one in five persons dying within 1 year, more than half of the CHF patients dying within 5 years, and sudden death occurring at a rate of six to nine times that of the general population
  • One in five of all discharged patients age 65 and older had CHF as a primary or secondary diagnosis
  • A person age 40 or older has a one-in-five chance of developing congestive heart failure, according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association
  • Many patients suffering from this progressive, fatal disease tend towards an extremely poor quality of life and become increasingly unable to perform routine daily tasks
  • CHF is mostly treated with medication in a very delicate manner to provide a balance between cardiac output (CO) and left ventricular end diastolic pressure (LVEDP). A major problem facing the effective treatment of CHF via ongoing tailored medication is the lack of a safe, low cost, easy method to regularly collect patient’s medical data needed to maintain the balance between CO and LVEDP over time