Heart failure patients are not receiving effective treatment, which is resulting in a high number of readmissions to hospital and an increased risk of death, according to new research.

The University of Auckland analysed data of 45,000 patients who had suffered heart failure, either due to pump failure or stiffening of the heart muscle.

The study said all heart patients were treated in the same way, irrespective of the fact that
one in four patients had a normal heart pump function and suffered a failure due to stiffened heart muscle, which would have required different treatment.

It is estimated that 1.5–2% of the entire healthcare budget in New Zealand and overseas is spent on patients with heart failure, mainly because of recurrent hospital admissions, the study said.