Background For a better heart failure outcome, it is fundamental to improve the awareness of heart failure at the general population level. We conducted this study to identify the current status of awareness of heart failure in the Korean general population. Methods This cross-sectional nationwide survey recruited a total of 1,032 participants aged 30 years or older, based on a stratification systematic sampling method. A 23-item questionnaire was surveyed through telephone interviews. Results Although 80% of the participants had heard of heart failure, 47% exactly defined what heart failure is. A minority of participants correctly recognized the lifetime risk of developing heart failure (21%) as well as the mortality (16%) and readmission risk (18%) of heart failure and the cost burden of heart failure admission (28%). Regarding preferred treatment options, 71% of the participants chose a treatment option that could improve the quality of life. Approximately two-thirds of the participants agreed that current medical treatment could reduce mortality and improve the quality of life. More than half of the participants (59%) thought that heart failure patients should live quietly and reduce all physical activities. Across survey items, we found a lower awareness state in the elderly groups and people at lower income and educational levels. Conclusions The current awareness status of heart failure in the Korean general population is still low. Proactive educational efforts should be made to improve public awareness with special attention to individuals with lower disease awareness.
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