Ethics of the Heart: Ethical and Policy Challenges in the Treatment of Advanced Heart Failure

Abstract

Heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst adult Americans and has recently become a top killer worldwide. The direct costs of cardiovascular disease are projected to triple in the next 20 years, from $272.5 billion to $818.1 billion (Heidenreich et al. 2011). Although there has been a decreased incidence and prevalence of ischemic heart disease over the past several decades in the United States, heart failure remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In the United States, approximately 500,000 to 700,000 new cases are identified each year (Lloyd-Jones et al. 2009). Heart failure is now the number one diagnosis leading to hospitalization. As such, it is an increasingly heavy economic burden on ..

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