A message from Professor Naoki Sato
In Japan, heart failure occurences will increase over the next few years up to 2025. The number of elderly heart failure patients has increased dramatically in line with the aging population, but when we take into account the plan to move to a system of regional comprehensive care centers with a decrease in the number of acute care beds, there is the possibility that these patients will not be admitted to hospital even with acute heart failure, and this is expected to lead to a heart failure pandemic. There is a high risk of heart failure leading to death, with approximately 6% of people hospitalized for acute heart failure dying in hospital, and about 22% dying within a year. About 16% are estimated to be re-hospitalized due to heart failure. This is a poor prognosis comparable to that of cancer, which is difficult to treat, but it is not widely recognized. As a response to this prognosis for heart failure, the most important thing is to take appropriate action from the early stages of the disease when symptoms are not yet apparent (hidden heart failure), and to delay its progress. We must look out for the signs of heart failure such as swelling, shortness of breath, and fatigue, prevent future heart failure, and carry out treatment to prevent its recurrence should it develop.