Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of people with chronic heart failure in Australia 2006

Med J Aust. 2006 Nov 20;185(10):549-57. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00690.x.


Chronic heart failure (CHF) is found in 1.5%-2.0% of Australians. Considered rare in people aged less than 45 years, its prevalence increases to over 10% in people aged >/= 65 years. CHF is one of the most common reasons for hospital admission and general practitioner consultation in the elderly (>/= 70 years). Common causes of CHF are ischaemic heart disease (present in > 50% of new cases), hypertension (about two-thirds of cases) and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (around 5%-10% of cases). Diagnosis is based on clinical features, chest x-ray and objective measurement of ventricular function (eg, echocardiography). Plasma levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) may have a role in diagnosis, primarily as a test for exclusion. Diagnosis may be strengthened by a beneficial clinical response to treatment(s) directed towards amelioration of symptoms. Management involves prevention, early detection, amelioration of disease progression, relief of symptoms, minimisation of exacerbations, and prolongation of survival.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial
  • Coronary Disease / surgery
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care
  • Physical Examination
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / drug therapy
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / prevention & control