What is Heart Failure?
Heart Failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which «the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen» (American Heart Association).
At first the heart tries to compensate by enlarging, developing more muscle mass and pumping faster, but these temporary measures mask the problem of Heart Failure without solving it.
Heart failure therefore continues and aggravate: the symptoms (palpitations, edemas, breathing problems and fatigue) worsen until they become disabling.
- 01 Heart Failure is the # 1 reason for hospitalization in the over 65s
- 02 By 2030 are estimated an increase of 25% in the number of patients and an increase of 215% in the cost of their medical assistance
Take 5 people over the age of 40: statically, one of them will suffer Heart Failure in lifetime.
The Heart Failure affects 1-2% of the adult population in developed countries, and the prevalence significantly increases with the advancing of age, up to 4% in the case of people over the age of 80.
It is a real health emergency, that every year costs the world economy over 100 billion dollars, and which has a strong social impact: the pathology, in fact, affects not only the patient’s private and working life, but also that of his family.
Today are affected by Heart Failure more than 30 million people (including 15 in USA and Europe only), with an expected growth of 25% by 2030: about half of these patients suffer from Systolic Heart Failure, a condition that strikes the left ventricle.
Existing treatments depend on the type and severity of Heart Failure.
- During the earlier stages of the disease, with mild to moderate Heart Failure (class I-II according to New York Heart Association functional classification), patients can be optimally managed with pharmacological therapy (such as ACE inhibitors, ARBs or beta-blockers).However, as the disease progresses into later stages (class III-IV NYHA) drugs alone become no longer sufficient. Due to the lack of valid therapies, the clinical status deteriorates rapidly. In the terminal stage, the only available treatments are very invasive: apart from heart transplantation (HT), the patient can be connected to an auxiliary, portable pump apparatus, such as ventricular assist devices (VADs) or Total Artificial Hearts (TAHs).Due to the scarcity of donations, HT is impossible for people over 65, the age group that most suffers from Heart Failure.
- The drawbacks related to the use of a VAD or a TAH are principally due to the very invasive surgery for their implant and heart/vascular tubing connections. Moreover, the power supply reliance requires an external battery pack for operation, which needs to be frequently recharged. Therefore, both remedies deeply affect patient’s life quality, considerably limiting daily activities. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider the high mortality, the high healthcare costs related to these procedures and associated frequent re-hospitalizations, as well as the fact that they are not quite available.The aging of the population and the lack of therapies capable of delaying HF progression contribute to creating a huge, unmet clinical need, to which Eucardia aims to respond.