B a c k g r o u n d: Heart failure (HF) is a life-threatening condition
which aff ects up to 2% of contemporary populations. Generally, it is a
chronic and progressive disease, however in many cases it can be
prevented or treated. Nevertheless, effective control of this disease
requires awareness of symptoms in the society.
A i m s: The aim of the study was to assess the level of HF knowledge
in the Polish population.
M e t h o d s: The questionnaire concerning knowledge about HF prepared
by the Competence Network HF under the patronage of the European Heart
Failure Association of the ESC, was used. The survey included 534
contributors who formed three groups: medical students — in vast
majority at fi rst half of the study course (MS) — 198 (37.1%), HF
Awareness Day participants (HFDP) — 134 (25.1%) and other (OP) — 202
R e s u l t s: Study groups diff ered in terms of gender, age and level
of education. As predicted, MS achieved the highest score (22.5
[20.0–24.0]), compared to HFDP (20.0 [17.0–22.0], P <0.001) and OP (19.0
[16.0– 21.0], P <0.001). Knowledge on typical HF symptoms was alarmingly
low in the analyzed groups — dyspnea (MS — 96.0%, HFDP — 78.4%, OP —
74.6%), ankle edema (MS — 79.8%, HFDP — 50.6%, OP — 32.2%), body weight
gain (MS — 14.1%, HFDP — 17.2%, OP — 4.5%). By multivariate model
medical education (β 3.372, 95% CI 2.738–4.005) and own illness or
having relatives or friends with HF (β 0.654, 95% CI 0.066–1.242)
independently aff ected the score of awareness questionnaire.
C on c l u s i o n s: The basic knowledge on HF in Poland is not
sufficient. It is moderately better among MS. Further campaigns
improving HF awareness are necessary.