A new study shows that men and women suffering from heart failure have a higher risk of death than people with most common types of cancer.
The primary care database study if the first of its kind to compare survival of them, separated by gender.
Heart failure is a leading cause of death globally, and the result of this study will be vital in working towards improving the outcomes of heart failure patients.
Anonymized data was collected between 2000 to 2011 from 393 general practices in Scotland.
The dataset (PCCIU) used included patient information for approximately a third of the Scottish population and represented a mixture of age and gender, as well a range of people geographically and economically.
For men, the four most common cancers are prostate, lung, colorectal, and bladder; while for women, they are breast, colorectal, lung, and ovarian.
Diagnoses of cancer and heart failure were at similar ages in men, but women typically experienced heart failure later in life.
Only 5.5% of either gender suffering from heart failure did not have another disease as well, compared to 20-38% of cancer patients.
Despite advances in healthcare, the study showed that heart failure remains as life-threatening as the most common forms of cancer, in both men and women.
Lead author said: “The findings of this study are important, our study shows that despite advances in the treatment of heart failure with newer drugs and devices, mortality rates remain significant and heart failure remains as malignant as many of the common cancers.”
Another researcher said: “Older patients with heart failure also have other co-morbid diseases, and therefore understanding of outcome in this patient group is important for clinicians.”
“This study also reminds us that observational studies are important in clinical research because clinical trials do not include the typical older people we manage in day to day clinical practice.”