Main Article Content
A key factor in cardiovascular prevention is the detection and appropriate management of preclinical heart failure (HF), but information on the subject is scarce. We designed VASTISSIMO as a prospective, observational study to investigate Outpatient Clinic Cardiologists’ skills in detecting and managing preclinical HF in Italy. Quality scores were used to assess the appropriateness of clinical management according to guideline recommendations. The feasibility of making a diagnosis of preclinical HF in a cardiology outpatient clinical setting, cardiologists’ awareness of preclinical HF and consistency between physician’s perceived risk of HF and the patient’s classiﬁcation into the preclinical HF Stages A [(SAHF) or B (SBHF)] have been investigated. Consistency was defined acceptable if the concordance between perceived risk and actual risk was >70%. Out of 3322 patients included in the study data necessary for identifying SBHF were collected in 2106 (63.4%). Many SBHF patients had their risk underestimated: 16.2% of those with previous acute myocardial infarction (AMI), 23.1% with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) at ECG/echocardiography, 30% with systolic/diastolic dysfunction, and 14.3% with valve disease. Cardiologists’ awareness of preclinical HF in the outpatient setting should be improved. This is a critical area of cardiovascular prevention that requires attention to improve good clinical practice and adherence to guidelines.