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Study protocol: systematic review of the burden of heart failure in low- and middle-income countries

Derrick A Bennett1, Thomas K Eliasz2, Anna Forbes2, Alastair Kiszely2, Rajit Khosla2, Tatjana Petrinic3, Devarsetty Praveen45, Roohi Shrivastava2, Du Xin6, Anushka Patel45, Stephen MacMahon24 and Kazem Rahimi27*

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

2 George Centre for Healthcare Innovation, University of Oxford, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Oxford, OX3 7LF, UK

3 Bodleian Healthcare Libraries, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

4 The George Institute for Global Health Australia, Sydney, Australia

5 The George Institute for Global Health India, Hyderabad, India

6 The George Institute for Global Health China, Beijing, China

7 Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

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Systematic Reviews 2012, 1:59  doi:10.1186/2046-4053-1-59

Published: 29 November 2012



Setting priorities for the prevention and management of heart failure requires an empirical understanding of the pattern of disease burden. We aim to describe the methods for a systematic review of the literature on burden of heart failure in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and how this information will be synthesized to produce useful estimates that can inform policy and practice.


We will conduct a comprehensive search strategy for articles published between 1995 and April 2012 related to incidence, prevalence and treatment of heart failure in LMIC. Populations will be coded as urban, rural, or combined and studies classified as national, sub-national, healthcare system-based, or community level. Details from eligible studies will be extracted independently by two reviewers using a pre-designed data extraction form that will cover information on demographics, diagnostic criteria including disease incidence and prevalence, medical history, medication history, and hospital- or community-based management and outcomes. We will assess the reporting and methodological quality of the included studies and conduct a quantitative summary of reported outcomes where appropriate.


Currently, there are important gaps in our knowledge on the burden of heart failure in LMIC and this systematic review aims to provide useful information that improves our knowledge in this field. Results are expected to be publicly available in early 2013.

Heart failure; Incidence; Meta-analysis; Prevalence; Treatment