Cohort profile: prevalence of valvular heart disease in community patients with suspected heart failure in UK Study

Tuesday 14 February 2017

We're delighted to have had one of our articles published by BMJ Open. 

The aim of this study was to evaluate the proportion of suspected heart failure patients with significant valvular heart disease.

Valvular heart disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Early detection and treatment is advocated to improve long-term outcome.However, a significant proportion of patients with valve disease present late, when the long-term benefits of intervention are less certain.

The Euro Heart Survey and other observational studies have demonstrated that around 50% patients having surgery for valve disease were in New York Heart Association III or IV which unnecessarily increases postoperative complications and further mortality.

The study of Nkomo et al identified unsuspected valve disease occuring in 1.8% of healthy adults referred for echocardiography. In contrast, the prevalence of moderate or severe valve disease was 2.5% in healthy adults not being referred for echocardiography.7 The differences in prevalence suggest that there is still a significant number of patients with under diagnosed valve disease.

Among patients admitted to hospital with heart failure the prevalence of valve disease is high (21% as demonstrated by the study of Philbin et al8 ,9). However, the prevalence of significant valve disease in patients with suspected heart failure in the community is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of significant valve disease in a large group of patients with suspected heart failure in the community setting.

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