The clinical dilemma of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: an update on pathophysiology and management for physicians

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The prevalence of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) continues to grow at alarming rates and is predicted to become the most prevalent phenotype of heart failure over the next decade. Recent data show a higher non-cardiac comorbidity burden associated with HFpEF, and similar overall hospitalisation rates when compared with patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Unfortunately, clinicians mainly focus their efforts in diagnosis of HFrEF despite HFpEF accounting for 50% of the cases of heart failure. Therefore, this review is intended to create awareness on the pathophysiology, risk factors, diagnosis and management of patients with HFpEF and its core mechanical abnormality left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Clinical distinction between HFpEF and HFrEF should be of particular interest to internal medicine physicians and general practitioners as this distinction is seldom made and early diagnosis can lag if appropriate risk factors are not promptly recognised.

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