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No improvement in heart failure survival rates in two decades

There has been no improvement since 1998 in survival rates for heart failure patients, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Oxford looked at routinely collected medical records from 54,313 patients with heart failure and found 81.3 per cent survived for one year, 51.5 per cent survived for two years, and 29.5 per cent survived for 10 years, following diagnosis with the condition.

“Getting an accurate estimate of heart failure prognosis is vital for those who commission healthcare services, so resources can be allocated appropriately,” said Clare Taylor, a primary care researcher at the University of Oxford.

Survival rates, between 1998 and 2012, for people aged over 45 with heart failure showed no improvement though, in contrast to cancer survival rates in the Britain which have doubled in the last 40 years.

“Perhaps more importantly, this allows patients to make more informed choices about treatments and possible end-of-life care. While the survival rates were better than other studies, we disappointingly did not see any improvement over time,” added Taylor.

According to the study published in the journal Family Practice, heart failure is a common long-term condition affecting around nine lakh in the Britain and represents the second highest cost to the National Health Service for any disease after stroke.

“An estimated one to two in every 100 adults in the west currently live with the condition,” the study noted.

The paper found that survival rate estimates vary depending on a person’s age, gender, other health conditions and blood pressure.

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