Heart failure is more fatal than heart attack

Heart failure is more fatal than heart attack
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Highlights

Narayanan (Name changed), a 48-year-old businessman, suffered from heart attack six years ago. He was evaluated and coronary angiography was conducted on the patient and he was advised to undergo a bypass surgery.

Hyderabad: Narayanan (Name changed), a 48-year-old businessman, suffered from heart attack six years ago. He was evaluated and coronary angiography was conducted on the patient and he was advised to undergo a bypass surgery.

The patient was a heavy smoker for nearly 30 years. At the time of his first heart attack, he was informed that he had diabetes. However, he ignored and returned to his routine life. He stopped treatment in a short time and continued to smoke. With no medical follow-up in between, he returned to hospital with severe heart failure and was suffering severe breathlessness and edema.

His sugar levels were marked elevated. Investigations revealed that his heart had dilated with an ejection fraction of 20%. With great difficulty, the doctors could stabilise him. He still gets breathless with minimal exertion. He is on multiple medications.

Discussing about this case, Dr K Sarat Chandra, Consulting Cardiologist at Indo-US Super Specialty Hospital, Hyderabad, and President of Cardiology Society of India, said they come across many patients like this case in India and despite all the recent advances in medical science the knowledge about heart diseases is poor among the public.

There is an urgent need to for sensitise the public about the long-term consequences of bad lifestyle which includes smoking. Most importantly a person having suffered a heart attack at a young age should have been on medicines and close follow-up with a cardiologist to avoid Heart Failure"

Heart Failure (HF) is often confused with Heart Attack (HA). Heart Failure does not mean the heart has already failed. It means it is close to stop functioning. Currently, India is reeling under the burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Amongst all CVDs, HF is one of the leading causes of high death rate and repeated hospitalizations. It affects 8-10 million people in India. 59% of HF patients had at least one hospitalization since the time of diagnosis.

What is Heart Failure?

Heart Failure occurs when the heart muscle responsible for the pumping action weakens or stiffens, overtime. It directly affects the pumping efficiency of the heart and results in an enlarged heart. As shown in the diagram. According to Trivandrum Heart Failure Registry, 31% patients succumbed to the disease within 1 year of diagnosis. On the other hand, India is witnessing nearly 2 million heart attacks a year.

Managing Heart Failure

Patients who have survived heart attack in the past can prevent development of heart failure by adhering to treatment protocol as advised by doctor. Also adapt lifestyle changes like regular exercise, a healthy diet, no smoking along with managing chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

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