I am
Show me:
Show me:
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Heart failure clinical guidelines

Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of heart failure.

Heart failure affects over 38 million people worldwide. In 2018, 63,099 Australians were hospitalised for heart failure and on average, seven Australians died of heart failure every day.  

Download the Heart Failure Guidelines (PDF)

About the Heart Failure Guidelines

The Australian Clinical Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection and Management of Heart Failure (2018)  seek to provide guidance regarding the clinical care of patients with heart failure in Australia – based on current evidence. They’re intended to replace the 2011 update of the Heart Foundation/Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, and Management of Chronic Heart Failure in Australia.
In addition to reviews of published trials and systematic reviews, guideline content was informed by other international clinical guidelines, and local clinical expertise.  

Who are the guidelines for? 

These guidelines have been designed for Australian healthcare professionals across all disciplines. 

What’s in the guidelines? 

  • New recommendations and key practice points on heart failure incorporating new evidence that has been graded on the certainty of evidence and the likely absolute benefit versus harm. 
  • New heart failure classifications (HFrEF vs. HFpEF) and new diagnostic algorithms. 
  • New recommendations on the management of people living with heart failure through new evidence on pharmacological management, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, cardiac resynchronisation therapy and atrial fibrillation ablation. 
  • New advice on non-pharmacological care for heart failure patients, including telephone support, nurse-led care, exercise, and palliative care. 
  • New tools and algorithms for the pharmacological management of heart failure, including Table 1.0 Medications that may cause or exacerbate chronic heart failure and Figure 1. Drivers and potential targets for treatment in heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction.  

Who endorses these guidelines? 

  • The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) 
  • The Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) 
  • The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) 
  • The Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia (CRANA) 
  • The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) 
  • The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) 
  • The Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP)and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).  

How were the guidelines developed? 

The guidelines were developed based on current evidence by the Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. The guidelines were written by members of the working group who are leading experts in their fields and highly renowned both in Australia and overseas. 
The approach to development and consultation was designed to ensure appropriate stakeholder representation and engagement in the guideline writing process. Recommendations were made using GRADE methodology to assess the certainty of evidence.  

Further information about the guideline development process can be found within the guidelines.  

The new Heart Failure guidelines are now also available on our Smart Heart Guidelines App.

You might also be interested in

For professionals: Heart Health Checks

For professionals: Heart Health Checks

Heart Health Checks have been supported by Medicare since April 2019....

Acute Coronary Syndromes tools from the guidelines

Acute Coronary Syndromes tools from the guidelines

Assessment protocols and algorithm for health care professionals...

Heart failure - tools from the guidelines

Heart failure - tools from the guidelines

Discover a range of heart failure tools derived from the guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, and Management of Heart Failure in Australia 2018. ...

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

Information and resources for health care professionals....

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

Have you thought about what you are getting for your children this Father’s Day?...

Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) clinical guidelines

Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) clinical guidelines

Guidelines for acute coronary syndromes for clinical care of patients presenting with suspected or confirmed ACS....

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network is the Heart Foundation’s newsletter for health professionals delivered to your inbox once a month....

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

Ask the experts: caring for people with CVD during COVID-19...

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

The Australian Guideline for Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease (2nd Edition)​....

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Atrial fibrillation clinical resources for healthcare professionals

Atrial fibrillation clinical resources for healthcare professionals

Clinical resources for healthcare professionals including algorithms and key practice points....

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Atrial fibrillation clinical guidelines

Atrial fibrillation clinical guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation...

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

These tools and algorithms are for healthcare professionals and have been developed from the Australian Clinical Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Atrial Fibrillation 2018. ...

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

The prevalence of depression is high in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Absolute CVD risk assessment is an integrated approach that estimates the cumulative risk of multiple risk factors to predict a heart attack or stroke event in the next five years....

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Clinical resources for health care professionals to improve the management of patients with heart failure. ...

Heart failure clinical factsheets

Heart failure clinical factsheets

Information about the diagnosis, classification and pharmacological management of heart failure. ...

WEBINAR | Heart failure diagnosis and care

WEBINAR | Heart failure diagnosis and care

Improving diagnosis and care for heart failure patients....

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Together, we can make heart disease history. Donate today to help fund ground-breaking heart research and keep families together this Christmas. ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

The program works with local communities to help improve heart health in the Pilbara....

Heart health submissions to Government

Heart health submissions to Government

Every day we are lobbying government and industry to improve heart health....

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Explore some useful things to know about intimacy after a heart attack....

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you're 45 and over, or 30 and over if you're of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today...

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

The Heart Foundation is delivering a research webinar series for Heart Foundation research alumni....

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

Pauline is a nurse and shares advice for young people who have had a heart event or are recovering from surgery....

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

This webinar discusses the role of practice nurses in conducting heart health checks...

Key Statistics: Heart Failure

Key Statistics: Heart Failure

Statistics and information on heart failure in Australia ...

When The Heart Gets Heavy: Emotional Wellbeing and Heart Conditions

When The Heart Gets Heavy: Emotional Wellbeing and Heart Conditions

Emotional wellbeing is like having a garden, sometimes it grows green on its own, other times it needs watering, cutting back or fertilising....

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network is the Heart Foundation’s newsletter for health professionals delivered to your inbox once a month....

Wholegrains and heart health

Wholegrains and heart health

Wholegrains and heart health

All you need to know about wholegrains to put you on the right track...

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Media Release - 30 June 2020 ...

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

How your waist measurement contributes to your heart health...

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Research to develop better evidence for the vascular and metabolic health benefits of vegetables and their bioactive constituents....

Coronary Artery Calcium Score

Coronary Artery Calcium Score

A Coronary Artery Calcium Score or CT Calcium test can be used to estimate your risk of heart attack or stroke....

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Discover more about our various funding programs, requirements, and application dates now....

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Search our lunch recipe ideas...

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David's heart failure diagnosis led to significant changes in his life....