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Congestive Heart Failure: Who Should Provide Care?

D. Lynn Morris, MD; and Donna F. Petruccelli, RN, MSN, CRNP
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From Lehigh Valley Hospital; Allentown, PA 18103

Requests for Single Reprints: D. Lynn Morris, MD, The Heart Care Group, 3340 Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown, PA 18103.

Requests To Purchase Bulk Reprints (minimum, 100 copies): the Reprints Coordinator; phone, 215-351-2657; e-mail, reprints@mail.acponline.org.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Morris and Ms. Petruccelli: The Heart Care Group, 3340 Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown, PA 18103.

Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(3):238-239. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-3-200002010-00011
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Chronic congestive heart failure with left ventricular systolic dysfunction has become a major health care challenge, both clinically and economically (12). Clinically, congestive heart failure is a complex, heterogeneous disease process that afflicts more than 4.7 million patients in the United States, and more than 400 000 cases are newly diagnosed each year. The 6-year mortality rate associated with congestive heart failure approaches 80% in men and 60% in women. The impact of this disease on a patient's ability to maintain usual daily activities can be devastating. An estimated $38 billion is spent annually on care for congestive heart failure, of which $23 billion is spent on hospitalization.

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