Surviving Heart Failure

Heart failure is a growing public health problem in Asia Pacific.

Apublished by the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiologists (APSC) provided vital insights into the unique challenges of diagnosing and managing heart failure in Asia Pacific. The survey uncovered critical gaps throughout the heart failure patient journey, from diagnosis to treatment and post-discharge follow-up.

Although the true prevalence of heart failure in Asia Pacific is unclear, the disease is estimated to affect roughly 64 million people around the world (8.52 cases per 1,000 individuals).1 Additionally, in the region, patients with heart failure are found to be about 10 years younger than patients in Western populations.2 This number in Asia Pacific is expected to increase sharply over the next few decades, largely due to an ageing population and the increased incidence of lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.3

Heart failure not only represents a significant health burden which translates into substantial healthcare costs and loss of productivity, it also takes an emotional toll on those living with the disease and their carers or family members.

Watch this video of Hung, a 63 year old army veteran from Vietnam, and Serene, a mother of three from Singapore as they share their experience of life with heart failure.

Because symptoms are nonspecific and at early stages can go unnoticed, heart failure can be hard to diagnose.4 Heart failure can happen suddenly or it can progress slowly over months or years.5 This can add to a patient’s physical and emotional stress.

The major concern that doctors face today is diagnosing heart failure based on symptoms alone. Oftentimes, heart failure patients can be misdiagnosed resulting in adverse consequences, such as inappropriate care or treatment, which adds burden for patients and costs to healthcare systems.

Inadequate management and monitoring of heart disease alone can impose billions of dollars of costs on healthcare systems, as well as affect patients in countries where they have to bear significant out of pocket expenses.

Advanced diagnostics and aggregated healthcare data support clinicians in making the right diagnosis at the right time, and can help healthcare systems around the world manage their resources more effectively. Some insights can lead to behavior and lifestyle changes, which can keep a person healthy and out of the hospital. Some tests might reveal an imminent threat and lead to a life-saving decision.6

There is an urgent need for concerted efforts by multiple stakeholders, from patient to physician, to close these gaps and ensure that all heart failure patients receive optimal care. Additionally, multidisciplinary efforts, involving primary care physicians and cardiologists, are critical to implementing new strategies and improving the long-term outlook for heart failure patients.


  1. Lippi G, Sanchis-Gomar F. Global epidemiology and future trends of heart failure. AME Med J. 2020;5(0). doi:10.21037/amj.2020.03.03.

  2. Lam CS, Anand I, Zhang S, Shimizu W, Narasimhan C, Park SW, Yu CM, Ngarmukos T, Omar R, Reyes EB, Siswanto B, Ling LH, Richards AM. Asian Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure (ASIAN-HF) registry. Eur J Heart Fail. 2013 Aug;15(8):928-36. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hft045. Epub 2013 Apr 7. PMID: 23568645.

  3. Sidik SM. Heart-disease risk soars after COVID — even with a mild case. Nature. 2022;602(7898):560-560. doi:10.1038/d41586-022-00403-0.

  4. Understanding heart failure. Accessed June 28, 2023.

  5. British Heart Foundation. Heart failure. Accessed June 28, 2023.

  6. Roche. (2022) The Value of Diagnostics. Retrieved from:

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