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)

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.

Heart Foundation

About the Heart Failure Guidelines

Heart failure resources for patients

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...

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Join the Heart Foundation in South Australia for the journey of a lifetime, trekking the ancient Flinders Ranges to help save Australian hearts....

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....

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.  ...

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. ...

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Feel healthier and happier in six weeks with a free Personal Walking Plan...

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 Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

A series of virtual events for young adults on managing emotional wellbeing. ...

Heart Week

Heart Week

Heart Week

May 3 – 9, 2021...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Heart attack medication

Heart attack medication

Heart attack medication

There are a number of medications you could be prescribed after a heart attack....

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the broad term for conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart muscle. ...

Heart Bypass Surgery

Heart Bypass Surgery

Coronary bypass surgery is a common procedure that can dramatically improve the health of your heart. ...

State based advocacy

State based advocacy

State based advocacy activity supporting local communities...

How can I eat more fruit and vegetables for a healthy heart?

How can I eat more fruit and vegetables for a healthy heart?

How can I eat more fruit and vegetables for a healthy heart?

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

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...

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

We've been working on several projects with local governments across Tasmania, big and small....

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....

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Resources available for built environment professionals to help guide in the development of active outdoor and indoor spaces....

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

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....

Medical tests for heart disease

Medical tests for heart disease

Medical tests for heart disease

Learn about the common tests your doctor may want you to have to diagnose your heart condition....

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter has lived with a rare heart condition since he was 14, but hadn’t given it too much thought until his 30s....

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....

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Most Australians are eating more than the recommended amounts and this can cause health problems....

Vegetarian recipes

Vegetarian recipes

Vegetarian recipes

Search through our vegetarian recipes...

Advocating for healthy hearts throughout Australia

Advocating for healthy hearts throughout Australia

We're addressing the disparities in heart health so all Australians can live longer, healthier lives....

Get your family moving

Get your family moving

Get your family moving

Get your kids active and set them up for healthier habits into adulthood....

Fats, oils and heart health

Fats, oils and heart health

Fats, oils and heart health

Get the right balance of healthy fats in your diet ...