Epidemiology of heart failure in Spain over the last 20 years

Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2013 Aug;66(8):649-56. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2013.03.012. Epub 2013 Jul 5.


Heart failure is a major health care problem in Spain, although its precise impact is unknown due to the lack of data from appropriately designed studies. In contrast with the 2% prevalence of heart failure elsewhere in Europe and in the United States, studies in Spain report figures of 5%, probably because of methodological limitations. Heart failure consumes enormous quantities of health care resources; it is the first cause of hospitalization in persons aged 65 years or older and represents 3% of all hospital admissions and 2.5% of health care costs. There are two patterns of heart failure: one with preserved systolic function, more often associated with high blood pressure, and another with depressed systolic function, more often associated with ischemic heart disease. In 2010, heart failure accounted for 3% of all deaths in men and for 10% of all deaths in women. In recent years, the mortality rate from heart failure has gradually fallen. The rise in hospital admissions for heart failure and the decrease in mortality from this cause could partly be explained by temporary changes in diagnostic coding, but there is evidence that the reduced mortality could also be due to adherence to clinical practice guidelines.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Epidemiología; España; HF; Heart failure; Insuficiencia cardiaca; PC; Spain; heart failure; primary care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Spain / epidemiology