WASHINGTON March 23, 2021 — Heart failure is a chronic condition that affects over 6 million people in the US who are 20 years of age or older, and the prevalence and mortality rates continue to increase. Despite this common syndrome, the causes of heart failure among patients may vary, highlighting the need for specific data elements emphasizing these differences in heart failure.

In an update to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Key Data Elements and Definitions for Measuring the Clinical Management and Outcomes of Patients With Chronic Heart Failure, the writing committee for this 2021 document presents language that does not differentiate between chronic or acute heart failure, inpatient vs. outpatient, or whether patients are receiving palliative care. Thus, the data elements apply to the full range of care provided to patients with heart failure and are intended to be useful for all care settings.

Data elements for heart failure risk factors, cardiovascular history and non-cardiovascular health determinants including COVID-19 infection, are included in this document. Patient assessment with more detailed elements for symptoms, signs, physical exam findings, stages and functional assessment are updated. This document stresses that health failure data standards are more critical now for clinical providers, investigators, administrators, health care services and institutions, regulators, legislators and payers because of the growing burden of heart failure and increasing focus on performance measures, among other factors.

The 2021 ACC/AHA Key Data Elements and Definitions for Heart Failure will publish online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes on Tuesday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET. It was developed in collaboration with the Heart Failure Society of America, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

The following Circulation link is available for posting in news articles and will be live after embargo:

About the American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit acc.org.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

AHA: Maggie Francis, maggie.francis@heart.org, 214-706-1382

ACC: Dana Kauffman, dkauffman@acc.org, 202-375-6294

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org