Original ArticleHeart Failure Epidemiologic UpdateHodges, Pamela PhD, RNAuthor Information Department of Acute Nursing Care, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. Corresponding Author: Pamela Hodges, PhD, RN, Department of Acute Nursing Care, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr, San Antonio, TX 78229 ([email protected]). Critical Care Nursing Quarterly: January 2009 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 24-32 doi: 10.1097/01.CNQ.0000343131.27318.36 Buy Metrics Abstract Heart failure is a disease of epidemic proportions in the United States affecting almost 6 million people. This heart failure overview includes a brief description of the etiology of this extremely prevalent coronary artery disease. Myocardial (ventricular) remodeling is described as being either physiological or pathological. Patients must initially be taught that heart failure is a chronic and ongoing disease to comprehend the need for lifestyle changes and management of life problems. Because adherence is a key determinate of clinical outcomes, promoting patient adherence with medications is a major focus for clinicians working with patients with heart failure. Various diagnostic tests are explained as well as the treatment of heart failure. Treatment includes pharmacologic, nonpharmacologic, and surgical interventions. Although there have been substantial advances in care and management, this information is important for healthcare service professionals to know because the number of people diagnosed with heart failure continues to increase each year. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.