The first study of its kind on heart failure in Ireland has predicted that 10,000 new cases will be diagnosed here each year. 

It reveals that 90,000 people are living with heart failure and a further 160,000 people have "impending heart failure", which means they have yet to display the symptoms.

The study concludes that between 530 and 770 people die every year from the condition either in hospital, or in the community.

Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood around the body. Symptoms can include severe breathlessness and excessive fatigue.

Risk factors for heart failure include age, high blood pressure, a previous heart attack and coronary artery disease.

The study, 'The cost of Heart Failure to Irish Society' was conducted with the Heartbeat Trust, the Irish Heart Foundation and NUI Galway.

It shows that the social, economic and health cost each year is around €660m.

The study found profound regional disparities in heart failure services and outcomes.

It says there is evidence of a 'post-code lottery' in terms of hospital services & follow-up care.

Professor Ken McDonald, consultant cardiologist and Medical Director, Heartbeat Trust, said more heart failure prevention and treatment services are needed in the community.

He said the same approach as has been introduced with stroke was needed, with fast diagnosis and action.

The report says that because of our ageing population, heart failure will place an increasing burden on the health service.

It currently receives around 6% of the healthcare budget, compared with 10% among the EU27 average.