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The Challenge of Treating Heart Failure:  A Diverse Disease Affecting Diverse Populations

Rhondalyn C. McLean, MD, MHS1; Mariell Jessup, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2013;310(19):2033-2034. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.282773.
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Heart failure affects nearly 6 million people in the United States alone,1 and the prevalence has reached alarming proportions. It is estimated that approximately 2% of Americans have heart failure, and 35% of cardiovascular deaths are directly related to heart failure.1 The costs for treating patients with heart failure now approach $32 billion annually.2 Successful and significant advances have been made in the treatment strategies for heart failure. Pharmacologic therapy includes agents such as β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers and aldosterone antagonists. Further advances in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), cardiac transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support have provided additional options for patients with this debilitating and frequently fatal chronic illness. However, an important question is whether all patients are being afforded the same advantages of current treatment approaches. Are there groups of patients, as defined by sex, race, and ethnicity, being left behind?

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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