The rising incidence of heart failure in the young – a worrying trend

By Megha Agarwal

A recent French nationwide cohort study identified 1,486,877 patients who were hospitalised for heart failure during 2013 and 2018. Of these, 70,075 (~5%) patients were between the ages of 18 and 50.

Data showed that the year-on-year incidence of heart failure in the general population decreased. However, when broken down by age group, there was a significant increase in heart failure in young adults, particularly males aged 36-50 years. The type of heart failure tended to be of ischaemic aetiology, and a corresponding increase in the traditional risk factors for ischaemic heart disease was noted. These young patients had higher rates of obesity, hypertension, diabetes or dyslipidaemia, with higher smoking rates.

Up to 30% of young adults (aged 18-50) were re-hospitalised during the study, and about 10% died in hospital from any cause within the first 2 years after index hospitalisation, suggested a poor prognosis. Being in the younger age bracket did not confer a survival advantage.

This is worrying data and we need to become better in the prevention of heart failure by modification of risk factors.

Read the full paper at: Lecoeur E, Domengé O, Fayol A, Jannot A-S, Hulot JS, Epidemiology of heart failure in young adults: a French nationwide cohort study, European Heart Journal, 2022;,ehac651,