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Prevention of heart failure: effective strategies to combat the growing epidemic

, : Prevention of heart failure: effective strategies to combat the growing epidemic. Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine 4(1): 8-17

In light of the increasing prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of heart failure, effective preventative strategies are urgently needed. Risk factors for heart failure include coronary artery disease and other atherosclerotic vascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, renal insufficiency, obesity, and family history of cardiomyopathy. Essential strategies for prevention of heart failure are modification of risk factors for heart failure development; comprehensive hypertension, atherosclerosis, and diabetes treatment; and detection and treatment of asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction. The B-type natriuretic peptide assay may aid in identifying asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction in patients with risk factors for heart failure. In patients with hypertension, atherosclerosis, and/or diabetes, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, beta-blocker, aspirin, and statin therapy can prevent progression to symptomatic heart failure. Avoidance of calcium channel-blockers as first-line antihypertensive therapy can also reduce the risk of heart failure. There remain substantial opportunities to improve implementation of therapies proven to prevent heart failure in the large number of patients at risk.

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Accession: 050006740

PMID: 12684599

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