Impact on society



The social impact

Heart failure (HF) accounts for 1-2% of global hospital admissions every year2. In 2012 the global cost of HF was estimated to be $108 billion, with between 69% and 87% spent on hospitalisations and inpatient care1,3. This can put a huge strain on a society and its healthcare system, and presents a real need to try and reduce the number of associated hospital admissions.

Easing the burden

A key step in improving outcomes for those with HF, and to society, lies in educating the public and policymakers about what HF is, its risks, burden and how it can best be managed4. In fact, a previous study undertaken by the World Heart Federation identified this lack of understanding among patients as the greatest roadblock in HF diagnosis and and the highest priority area in the prevention of heart failure4.

With understanding of HF central to reducing hospitalisation and mortality rates of those with HF, the WHF outlined two recommendations5:

Implement public facing campaigns focused on disease awareness, the signs and symptoms of HF and the associated risk of co-morbidities.


Issue a National Strategy and its impact on those with HF, the health system and society, outlining steps for improving outcomes for those living with the disease and reducing its burden.


Read the full study published on the gap in heart failure awareness among the general public and policymakers.


The Heart Failure Gap Review - sponsored by AstraZeneca in partnership with the World Heart Federation


  1. Cook C, Cole G, Asaria P, et al. The annual global economic burden of heart failure. Int J Cardiol. 2014;171(3):368-376.
  2. Ambrosy AP, Fonarow GC, Butler J, et al. The global health and economic burden of hospitalizations for heart failure: lessons learned from hospitalized heart failure registries. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(12):1123-1133.
  3. Giles L, Freeman C, Field P,  et al. Humanistic burden and economic impact of heart failure – a systematic review of the literature. F1000Research. 2019; 8:859.
  4. Ferreira JP, Kraus S, Mitchell S, et al.. World Heart Federation Roadmap for Heart Failure. Global Heart. 2019;14(3):197–214.
  5. AstraZeneca, World heart Federation. Accelerate Change Together: Heart Failure Gap review. Available from Accessed 3 September 2020.