Objective: To investigate the secular trend in survival after a new diagnosis of heart failure in the UK population.
Design and setting: Comparison of all-cause mortality in the six months' after diagnosis of heart failure in population-based studies in the South east of England in 2004-05 (Hillingdon-Hastings Study) and 1995-97 (Hillingdon-Bromley Studies).
Participants: 396 patients in the 2004-05 cohort and 552 patients in the 1995-97 cohort with incident (new) heart failure.
Main outcome measures: All-cause mortality.
Results: All-cause mortality rates were 6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 3-8%] at 1 month, 11% [8-14%] at 3 months and 14% [11-18%] at 6 months in the 2004-05 cohort compared with 16% [13-20%], 22% [19-25%] and 26% [22-29%], respectively, in the 1995-97 cohort (Difference between the two cohorts, p<0.00001). The difference in survival was not explained by any difference in the demographics or severity of heart failure at presentation. There was a difference at baseline and thereafter in the use of neurohormonal antagonists (b-blockers and ACE inhibitors).
Conclusions: Although early mortality remains high among patients with newly diagnosed heart failure in the UK general population, there is strong evidence of a marked improvement in survival from 1995-97 to 2004-05, perhaps partially explained by an increased usage of neurohormonal antagonists.
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