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Editorials |

To Infuse or Not?

Kalim J. Habet
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Brownsville, TX
 ,  Dr. Habet is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, and Attending Cardiologist at the Heart Institute of Brownsville.

Correspondence to: Kalim J. Habet, MD, FCCP, Heart Institute of Brownsville, PO Box 3185, Building C, 95 East Price Rd, Brownsville, TX 78523-3185



Chest. 2004;125(4):1182-1183. doi:10.1378/chest.125.4.1182
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Heart failure continues to be one of the few problems in cardiovascular medicine that is increasing in frequency. It is a major public health problem in the United States. Approximately five million people in this country have heart failure. There are about a half of a million patients who receive a diagnosis of heart failure for the first time each year. Heart failure is responsible for approximately 12 to 15 million office visits and approximately 6.5 million hospital days each year. Nearly 300,000 patients die of heart failure as a primary or contributory cause each year, and the number of deaths has increased steadily despite advancements in treatment. It is primarily a disease of the elderly. Approximately 5 to 10% of people > 65 years old have heart failure. It is the most common Medicare diagnosis-related group, and more Medicare dollars are spent for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure than for any other diagnosis. In the United States, approximately five million dollars are spent annually on drugs for the treatment of heart failure.1

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