According to a new report by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), the number of hospital admissions for heart failure in England has increased by a third in the past five years.
Heart failure admissions in England increased from 65,025 in 2013-2014 to 86,474 in 2018-2019, indicating a 33 per cent increase. In contrast, hospital admissions for other conditions only increased by 11 per cent during the same period.
The increasing rate of hospital admissions also reflects the increasing proportion of individuals living with heart failure in the UK. Ageing, population growth, increasing numbers of heart attack survivors and increase in risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes have contributed to the rise in individuals living with heart failure.
Evidence suggests that almost eight in 10 individuals with heart failure receive a diagnosis after a hospital admission, although four in 10 have visited their GP with symptoms such as breathlessness, swollen ankles and exhaustion in the past five years.
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of BHF, said: "It’s concerning to see yet another increase in hospital admissions – an indication that how we diagnose, treat and care for these patients could be far better." BHF calls for improved access to specialist blood tests and cardiac scans for GPs to aid earlier diagnosis of heart failure.