Heart Failure Society of America Kicks Off 2005 National Heart Failure Awareness Campaign

Experts Discuss How Awareness Can Save Lives

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) kicks off National Heart Failure Awareness Week (February 13- 19, 2005), with an educational program on February 12, 2005 in Sacramento, California. The program will feature internationally recognized heart failure specialists presenting information on early diagnosis and treatment for heart failure to primary care physicians, who care for 80% of individuals diagnosed with heart failure.

"This is a tremendous forum for primary care physicians to recognize early heart failure signs and symptoms, discuss new treatments, and learn how to manage care of this large group of patients who often have other existing medical conditions," Barry H. Greenberg, MD Chairman - HFSA Education Committee and HFSA Vice President said.

Therapies available today can slow, stop, and in some cases reverse the progression of heart failure. These treatments can keep people out of the hospital, reduce health care costs, improve quality of life, and greatly extend life expectancy.

"It is important that individuals (particularly those at risk or with a family history) learn to recognize changes in their health, and talk to their doctor about symptoms they may be having or concerns related to their health status," Dr. Greenberg said.

Heart failure affects nearly five million Americans and is the only major cardiovascular disease on the rise. With over 3.5 million hospitalizations each year, heart failure is the most expensive health care item for Medicare today.

"Improved management of patients with heart failure is critical in light of the extreme economic burden on Medicare, unacceptable high mortality, and severe impact on the quality of life," Dr. Greenberg said.

For more information on HFSA and heart failure, please visit http://www.hfsa.org .

The Heart Failure Society of America, Inc. (HFSA), a non-profit professional organization, represents the first (and only) organized effort by heart failure experts from the Americas to provide a forum for all those interested in heart function, and heart failure research, patient care and health care delivery. The goals of the organization are to promote research related to heart failure and provide a forum for presentation of that research; educate both physicians and caregivers to enable them to diagnose and treat heart failure more effectively; encourage preventive measures to reduce the incidence of heart failure; enhance the quality of life for those with heart failure; and promote and facilitate the formal training of physicians, scientists and allied health care providers in the field of heart failure.

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