Chennai: Heart failure claims the life of around 23 percent of heart failure patients within one-year of diagnosis and affects more than 20 lakh people worldwide. On the occasion of World Heart Failure Awareness month in May, cardiologists highlight the need to recognize heart failure as a public health priority in the country owing to its high burden in the country.
“With increasing life expectancy of the population and availability of advanced treatment options to prevent death acutely (so that patients survive with damaged heart muscles), incidence of heart failure is increasing at an epidemic proportion.
The key to reduce mortality due to heart failure is early diagnosis,” said Dr R Ravi Kumar, associate director, heart failure program, Gleneagles Global Hospital. Heart failure is a chronic, progressive disease condition in which the heart muscle responsible for the pumping action weakens or stiffens over time.
As a reason the heart fails to efficiently pump enough blood around the body, starving all the other organs of oxygen and other nutrients.
Medicos stress that close attention must be paid to symptoms like swollen ankles, legs or abdomen, increased night time urination, shortness of breath while doing simple routine activities, excessive fatigue, dizziness or severe weakness. “These symptoms shouldn't be ignored simply as signs of old-age, and one must immediately seek doctor's advice on experiencing any of these problems,” added Dr Ravi Kumar.