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Houston VA Physicians Write National Guidelines for Management of Heart Failure


April 25, 2022

Houston , TX — New recommendations for the prevention, diagnoses, and management of patients with heart failure have been released by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association and Heart Failure Society of America Joint Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines.

The guidelines were created by a consortium of national experts including two cardiologists from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.

“This important document is an update of the 2021 ACC/AHA guidelines. We examined past recommendations, reviewed the evidence and research data that accrued since then, and created the most updated set of recommendations that can provide guidance for clinicians in their patient care,” said Biykem Bozkurt, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Medicine and a cardiologist at the Houston VA.

Bozkurt, who is also a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, was the Vice-Chair of the 16-member writing group, which also included Savitri Fedson, M.D., M.A., a Houston VA cardiologist.

Heart failure, a chronic condition that is often manageable with medication and lifestyle changes, remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally.  The 2022 heart failure guideline provides recommendations based on contemporary evidence for the treatment of these patients. The recommendations present an evidence-based approach to managing patients with heart failure, with the intent to improve outcomes, quality of care and align with patients’ interests.

The most common causes of heart failure include narrowed heart arteries, heart attack, high blood pressure and valvular heart disease. Other causes can include, but are not limited to, familial or genetic cardiomyopathies, amyloidosis, metabolic disease, autoimmune disorders or exposure to cardiotoxic agents, such as chemotherapy or other medications. Primary prevention is important for those at risk of HF or pre-HF.

“The field of cardiovascular medicine is dynamic and rapidly evolving,” Bozkurt said.  “The process of periodically updating the guidelines for the evaluation and management of heart failure using recently published data is very important to patient care.”

Bozkurt, who has worked at the Houston VA as a cardiologist for more than 20 years, says she is committed to ensuring Veterans receive the latest and greatest treatments and the world class care they deserve after their service to our country.”

“At the VA, we want nothing but the best for our Veterans,” she said.  “I’m incredibly proud of our clinical outcomes and the breadth of the care we are able to offer here in Houston.”

The new guidelines can be found here.

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