By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

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The number of Americans diagnosed with heart failure is expected to increase by nearly 40 percent during the next 15 years and the costs of managing the illness will almost double, according to a new report from the American Heart Association released Tuesday.

Congestive heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It’s one of the most common heart diseases in the U.S., with more than 870,000 new cases reported annually. There are ways to manage and treat heart failure, but about half of all people die within five years of being diagnosed.

The number of people diagnosed with heart failure is expected to increase from about 6 million to nearly 8 million by 2030, according to the AHA’s “Impact of Heart Failure Report.”

Total medical costs to treat the condition are projected to increase from $14.3 billion to $29.2 billion in the same time period. Additionally, indirect costs of heart failure, including work loss, household productivity losses and premature mortality losses, are projected to increase from $8.2 billion to $12.3 billion.

“Heart failure is reaching a tipping point,” said Clyde W. Yancy, M.D., a past president of the AHA and chief of cardiology and Magerstadt Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Our population is aging, more people are thankfully surviving episodes of other forms of heart disease and risk factors. Hypertension, obesity and diabetes are near epic proportions. For all of these reasons, heart failure is rising.”

The most common causes of heart failure are coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

“Heart failure is one of the most misunderstood health issues facing our country today, yet its impact is undeniable,” said AHA CEO Nancy Brown. “We’ve made significant progress in many areas of cardiovascular disease, and now more than ever, it’s important to set this target on heart failure and activate together to help all Americans rise above this potentially deadly condition.”

The AHA set a new goal to reduce hospitalizations from heart failure by 10 percent by 2020. The organization launched an awareness campaign called Rise Above Heart Failure, which is funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

“We can’t delay, now we must raise awareness, drive best practices and target prevention. We can do this. The challenge is great but the opportunity to help is enormous,” said Yancy.