News | ESC | May 09, 2022

Improving Outcomes for all Patients with Heart Failure

Heart failure presents differently in women and men – discover the latest evidence and its impact on management at Heart Failure 2022, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

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May 9, 2022 — Heart failure presents differently in women and men – discover the latest evidence and its impact on management at Heart Failure 2022, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Heart Failure is the annual congress of the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC. The meeting takes place 21 to 24 May at IFEMA Madrid, Spain and online. Explore the scientific program.

Original research will be presented in hundreds of scientific abstracts. Including potential links between marital status and heart failure prognosis, novel data about the interconnection between COVID-19 and heart failure, cutting edge research on the differences between women and men with heart failure, and findings on pollution and heart disease. Can patients with heart failure drink alcohol? Find the answer to this and many other questions in the abstract programme.

Also on the agenda: gender differences in heart failure and the need for more studies on sex-related aspects.1 Dr. Brenda Moura, congress co-chair, said: “Most of the knowledge we have on diseases that affect the heart and how to treat them comes from studies where the majority of patients were men. There is increasing evidence that women may respond differently to risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle, and may present with different forms of the disease. Even the symptoms may be different. It is important to acknowledge these distinctions and to reinforce the need for investigation of heart failure in women.”

Ethnic minorities have also been under-represented in trials: get up-to-the minute insights in a dedicated session.2 “Most registries and trials included a vast majority of white patients, and results were extrapolated for minorities,” said Moura. “Recognizing racial and ethnic differences in cardiovascular risk factors, disease presentation and treatment response is of the utmost importance to improve outcomes and reduce disparities in these populations.”

Not to miss: the links between COVID-19 and heart failure.3 Including COVID-19-induced heart failure and heart failure in COVID-19 patients. Professor Antoni Bayes-Genis, congress chair, said: “COVID-19 is a vascular disease that affects multiple organs such as the lungs and the heart. Inflammation of the heart muscle and its protective covering, called the pericardium, are frequent complications that require awareness, proper diagnosis and management.”

Can heart failure patients have sex, play sports, and travel? Find out in a session addressing burning issues in management of the condition.4 “Heart failure care has evolved at a very quick pace over the last few years,” noted Bayes-Genis. “Now it is managed in multidisciplinary units requiring expertise in drug titration, devices, home monitoring, arrhythmias, co-existing conditions, and valvular disease. A comprehensive approach addressing all aspects of life is mandatory.”

Holistic management is also crucial for improving quality of life: hear how self-care, exercise training, drugs and devices can play a role.5 Bayes-Genis pointed out: “Heart failure is a chronic syndrome associated with reduced quality of life. In this session, experts will reveal the most effective tools to reduce hospital admissions and enhance wellbeing.”

Acute heart failure is a life-threatening condition requiring urgent evaluation and treatment. Leaders in the field will present up-to-date findings on what to do when it occurs during or after pregnancy.“In pregnancy there are physiologic changes, such as increased circulating blood volume, which can aggravate or unmask underlying cardiac disease,” said Moura. “So a woman with a stable cardiac condition may experience acute heart failure during pregnancy, labor or the postpartum period. There is also a specific condition – peripartum cardiomyopathy – that may arise during pregnancy or in the first months after delivery. It is very important to detect and treat these conditions adequately, as they can impact outcomes of the mother and baby.”

For more information:

References and notes

1Women @ heart.

2Culture and ethnicity: relevant factors in 21st century Europe.

3COVID-19 and heart failure: pathophysiology, risk factors, prognostication, and therapeutic strategies.

4Burning issues in heart failure management.

5How to improve quality of life.

6Acute heart failure during/after pregnancy.

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