To investigate trends in absolute numbers and prevalence from 1990 to 2007 of patients hospitalized with heart failure (HF) in Sweden.Methods and results
National inpatient and cause-specific death registers were used to calculate age- and sex-specific trends in absolute numbers and prevalence from 1990 to 2007 of patients hospitalized with HF in Sweden. Absolute numbers increased from 105 449 in 1990 to 144 925 in 2007, with a 77% increase in patients aged 85–99 years. The overall age-adjusted prevalence in 1990 was 1.73%, and this increased with an estimated annual percentage change (EAPC) of 4.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.6–4.9%] from 1990 to 1995, with no further significant change until 2002. The single year with the highest prevalence was 1998, when it peaked at 2.13%. The prevalence then declined slowly from 2002 (EAPC –1.1, 95% CI −1.5% to −0.6%) to 1.99% in 2007. The decrease in prevalence was not found in persons <65 years, where, instead, an increase was found throughout the period.Conclusion
Fears of an impending HF ‘epidemic’ could not be confirmed in this analysis of trends in prevalence for the period 1990–2007 of patients hospitalized with HF in Sweden. An overall slight decrease in age-adjusted prevalence was observed from 2002. The prevalence in patients <65 years increased markedly. In absolute numbers, there was a substantial increase among the very old, consistent with demographic changes.