Prevalence of heart failure in Australia: A systematic review

Berhe W. Sahle, Alice J. Owen, Mutsa P. Mutowo, Henry Krum, Christopher M. Reid

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74 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In the absence of a systematic collection of data pertaining to heart failure, summarizing the data available from individual studies provides an opportunity to estimate the burden of heart failure. The present study systematically reviewed the literature to estimate the incidence and prevalence rates of heart failure in Australia. Methods: Studies reporting on prevalence or incidence of heart failure published between 1990 and 2015 were identified through a systematic search of Embase, PubMed, Ovid Medline, MeSH, Scopus and websites of the Australian Institute of Health, and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics. Results: The search yielded a total of 4978 records, of which thirteen met the inclusion criteria. There were no studies reporting on the incidence of heart failure. The prevalence of heart failure in the Australian population ranged between 1.0 % and 2.0 %, with a significant proportion of cases being previously undiagnosed. The burden of heart failure was higher among Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australians (age-standardized prevalence rate ratio of 1.7). Heart failure was prevalent in women than men, and in rural and remote regions than in the metropolitan and capital territories. Conclusion: This systematic review highlights the limited available data on the epidemiology of heart failure in Australia. Population level studies, using standardized approaches, are needed in order to precisely describe the burden of HF in the population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2016


  • Australia
  • Heart failure
  • Incidence
  • Indigenous
  • Prevalence

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