JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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Contemporary pharmacological treatment and management of heart failure.

The prevention and treatment strategies for heart failure (HF) have evolved in the past two decades. The stages of HF have been redefined, with recognition of the pre-HF state, which encompasses asymptomatic patients who have developed either structural or functional cardiac abnormalities or have elevated plasma levels of natriuretic peptides or cardiac troponin. The first-line treatment of patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction includes foundational therapies with angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, β-blockers, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and diuretics. The first-line treatment of patients with HF with mildly reduced ejection fraction or with HF with preserved ejection fraction includes SGLT2 inhibitors and diuretics. The timely initiation of these disease-modifying therapies and the optimization of treatment are crucial in all patients with HF. Reassessment after initiation of these therapies is recommended to evaluate patient symptoms, health status and left ventricular function, and timely referral to a HF specialist is necessary if a patient has persistent advanced HF symptoms or worsening HF. Lifestyle modification and treatment of comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease and atrial fibrillation are crucial through each stage of HF. This Review provides an overview of the management strategies for HF according to disease stages that are derived from the recommendations in the latest US and European HF guidelines.

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