The Role of Screening, Addressing Cognitive Impairment in Heart Failure Management

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Eiran Gorodeski, MD, MPH, Parag Goyal, MD, MSc, and James Fang, MD, discuss the HFSA's recent scientific statement on the prevalence and impact of cognitive impairment on the management of heart failure.

For some time, the heart failure community has warned of an impending storm brewing under the nose of public health despite their rallying cries and calls for a greater emphasis on management. With the aging US population as a backdrop, the prevalence of heart failure is expected to grow in the coming years and, with heart failure fellowships going unfilled at an alarming rate, many in the field are concerned they are heading toward a perfect storm bent on wreaking havoc on public health.

The concern among filling fellowship slots aside, advanced heart failure and transplant specialists currently practicing have been confronting a growing concern associated with the aging population, but that could spell disaster for heart failure in particular: cognitive impairment. In their latest scientific statement, the Heart Failure Society of America has aimed at the issue and how it affects the management of heart failure.

Published on March 12, 2024, the 17-page document cites 142 references and is divided into 5 sections addressing the following subjects: risk factors for cognitive impairment, implications of cognitive impairment, management of cognitive impairment, integration of cognitive impairment into decision-making, and gaps in knowledge and challenges to implementation. In addition to calling attention to the prevalence of cognitive impairment in this patient population, the docuemnt also provides an overview of recommended screening tools and practices based on contemporary literature.

In this HCPLive peer-to-peer discussion, we spotlight perspectives on the subject from 3 subject matter experts in Eiran Gorodeski, MD, MPH, Parag Goyal, MD, MS, and James Fang, MD. In the conversation, Fang, who also serves as the president of the Heart Failure Society of America, acts as a moderator and guides Gorodeski and Goyal, who served as lead co-authors for the statement, through a discussion on the creation process, key takeaways, the complexities of heart failure management in patients with cognitive impairment, and the role of the Heart Failure Society of America and other professional organizations in aiding clinicians with incorporating changes and recommendations within these types of documents.

Discussion Guests:

Eiran Gorodeski, MD, MPH, director of the Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Center at Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute in the University Hospitals Health System as well as section head of advanced heart failure in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

Parag Goyal, MD, MSc, statement co-author, associate professor of Medicine, the Founding Director of the Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction Program, and the director of the Cardiac Amyloidosis Program at Weill Cornell Medicine.

James Fang, MD, president of the Heart Failure Society of America, chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and director of the Cardiovascular Service Line at University of Utah Health Care.

Relevant disclosures for Gorodeski include Dynamed Plus. Relevant disclosures for Goyal include Agepha, Axon, and Sensorum Health. Relevant disclosures for Fang include Amgen, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, and others.


  1. Bozkurt B, Ahmad T, Alexander KM, et al. Heart Failure Epidemiology and Outcomes Statistics: A Report of the Heart Failure Society of America. J Card Fail. 2023;29(10):1412-1451. doi:10.1016/j.cardfail.2023.07.006
  2. Goyal P, DiDomenico RJ, Pressler SJ, Allen LA, Gorodeski EZ. Cognitive Impairment in Heart Failure: A Heart Failure Society of America Scientific Statement. Journal of Cardiac Failure. Published online March 12, 2024. doi:10.1016/j.cardfail.2024.01.003