n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Diagnosis and treatment of heart failure in the community : main topic

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



The mortality and morbidity of heart failure remain high despite major therapeutic advances in the last two decades, partly because of inadequate health care service programmes and structure as well as the under-use of proven effective treatment (<SPAN lang=AF style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; mso-ascii-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-hansi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family: Symbol"><SPAN style="mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font: Symbol"&gt;b&lt;/SPAN&gt;&lt;/SPAN&gt; -blockers and ACE inhibitors). <br>The new classification which uses the staging system is extremely useful in making it possible to identify the early stages (stages A and B) of heart failure, where appropriate therapeutic intervention can prevent or delay the progression to symptomatic heart failure with irreversible left ventricular dysfunction. <br>A systematic approach should be followed in the diagnosis of heart failure, taking into account the symptomatology, clinical findings and appropriate cost-effective diagnostic procedures. <br>The GP can play a significant role by early identification of patients at risk, modification of the predisposing risk factors as well as early, appropriate referral of those who may have correctable aetological factors.

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