Kochi: Cardiologists have lamented the lack of awareness among the general public about heart failures. They expressed their views at a conference held here on heart failure organized by the Cardiology Society of India Heart Failure Council.
"There is a lack of general awareness on what heart failure is and how it is different from heart attack. Heart failure is the weakening of heart's ability to pump blood around the body to nourish the body cells. Coronary Artery Diseases (CAD) and heart attacks are results of blockage of arteries that supply blood to heart muscles. The heart muscles starve and die causing heart attack. CAD and heart attacks form only some of the causes for heart failure," Dr Ambuj Roy, chairman of CSI Heart Failure Council, said.
"Cardiomyopathy (enlargement of heart muscles), congenital heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, obesity and kidney ailments can also lead to heart failure," he said.
"Blood is pumped out with each heart beat when heart contracts. Normally left ventricle pumps out 55 to 70 percent of its capacity with each beat, which is measured in Ejection Fraction (EF). Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function happens when muscles of lower left chamber fail to squeeze enough blood. Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function happens in cases where contracting is normal but the chamber fails to fill up enough blood because left ventricle wall got thick and stiff. EF below 35 percent represents severe heart failure," Dr. A. Jabir, organising secretary of the conference, said.
Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan inaugurated the conference. "The conference is significant in view of the increasing heart failure, assuming the form of an epidemic, bringing health resources under stress and crippling human resources and economy," he said "Heart failure monitoring, prevention and management programmes and improving heart health need collective action from the health sector. All highly advanced diagnosis and treatment systems should come to the aid of every patient, both in terms of proximity and cost," the speaker said. Dr. M.K. Das, Dr. Soumitra Kumar, Dr. Ambuj Roy, Dr. P.P Mohanan, Dr. K.P. Markose and Dr.A. Jabir addressed the inaugural session.