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'Heart failure cases will reach 1.5m by 2015'

The number of heart failure patients in the UK will reach 1.5 million by 2015, according to new research.

Current figures show that there are 800,000 heart failure patients in the UK. Their treatment costs the NHS around £625 million a year.

The study, by independent market analysts Datamonitor, predicts a 'dramatic' rise in the number of sufferers as the UK population ages.

While treatment of heart failure has improved, diagnosis is often delayed and treatments are still underused,

researchers at the company said.

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