60 Chronic Heart Failure Epidemiology In General Practice

M Bosisio 1, M Riva 1, F Giunco 1
Aims. The Heart Failure Unit of Monza Hospital and the General Practitioners (GP) are cooperating with the aim to the integration of chronic heart failure (CHF) management.
Design. The study was undertaken to collect data of patients affected by CHF, in order to draw a picture of the population under study and to make audit. The results will be used to compare the patients included in clinical trials and those seen by GP.
Methods. Each practitioner filled a form for any patient diagnosed as affected by CHF. The diagnostic criterion was based on the perception of the disease by the practitioner.
Results. 16 practitioners took part to the study. 255 women and 171 men, mean age 81 and 76 years respectively were recruited. The mean prevalence of the pathology was 2.1%., ranging from 0.6 to 4.9%. Ischaemic heart disease was the most frequent aetiology of CHF. 61.7% of patients was in NYHA class II and the 22% in class III. Most patients were also affected by several other diseases. 74.2% of the patients were treated with more than two drugs. 48.9% were managed by GP and 40% by GP in collaboration with specialists.
The prevalence of disease was comparable to that of the literature. The variability could depend on the different perception that practitioners had of the pathology. As compared to patients in clinical trials, the ones in this study were of older age and affected by many other pathologies. From this study, it arises the need for a correct identification of the aetiology of CHF and the difficulty to diagnose it in general practice .