The epidemiology of heart failure, based on data for 2.1 million inhabitants in Sweden

Eur J Heart Fail. 2013 Sep;15(9):995-1002. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hft064. Epub 2013 May 3.


Aims: The epidemiology of congestive heart failure (CHF) is likely to have changed due to changes in demography, risk factors, diagnostic procedures, and medical care. Prevailing information is in part old, incomplete, and to some extent contradictory. We determined the current prevalence, incidence, mortality, and 5-year survival rate of CHF, and possible temporal changes in Sweden.

Methods and results: This was a cross-sectional study on individual patient data from an administrative health data register in the Stockholm region, Sweden, comprising 2.1 million inhabitants. This contained all recorded diagnoses on all consultations in primary and secondary care (defined as specialist outpatient care), and on all hospitalizations. Prevalence, incidence, and mortality were estimated for the entire Swedish population, adjusted for demographic composition in 2010. The study population consisted of 88 038 patients (51% women). The prevalence was 2.2% (both women and men), the incidence was 3.8/1000 person-years (both women and men), and mortality was 3.2/1000 person-years in women and 3.0/1000 person-years in men (P < 0.001); the 5-year survival rate was 48%. Mortality (age adjusted; hazard ratio and 95% confidence intervals) was higher in men, 1.29, 1.24-1.34; P < 0.001. Prevalence remained essentially unchanged from 2006 to 2010, while incidence decreased by 24% (P < 0.001) and mortality by 19% (both women and men; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The estimated prevalence of CHF in Sweden is 2.2%, incidence 3.8/1000 person-years, and mortality 3.1/1000 person-years. There has been a decrease in incidence and mortality from 2006 to 2010 in both women and men, with no major change in prevalence over time.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Heart failure; Incidence; Mortality; Prevalence; Survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Rate
  • Sweden / epidemiology