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Heart failure risk: UCLA researchers' app projects survival rate

A team from UCLA has developed an app that helps predict a heart failure patient's chances of survival.
February 4, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling are all signs of heart failure. Five million people in the U.S. are living with it. Now, a team from UCLA has developed an app that helps predict a patient's chances of survival.

"Estimated total direct and indirect cost of heart failure per year is like $38 billion," said Dr. Tamara Horwich, a cardiologist at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Predicting a patient's outcome can help doctors help their patients. Horwich and her students created a free heart failure risk calculator app they tested on more than 2,000 patients. It's simpler than the current method that requires 20 variables.

"We have come up with a tool that performs better, gives us better prognostic capability with only four variables," said Horwich.

Plug in the four variables and the app can figure out your projected survival rate at one month, 1 year, up to 5 years. Researchers say the calculation can help you and your doctor figure out the best treatment strategy.