A study conducted by 29 doctors worldwide which was published in the Lancet journal in April this year, concludes that 46 per cent of Indians, will suffer from heart failure and die within one year.
The study was done as a part of the global International Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), conducted by 29 cardiologists on 5,823 patients in 108 areas in Africa, India, South East Asia, China and South America. The study was a detailed one, spread across a duration of six months.
‘We designed a prospective registry of patients with heart failure in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America to document one-year mortality in patients from these regions, and to explore variables associated with their mortality,’ the study articulates.
The study reported that the mortality due to heart failure was highest in Africa and India, followed intermittently by Southeast Asia. The lowest mortality was found in China, South America, and the Middle East.
Dr Ambuj Roy, Additional Professor of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, and a cardiologist who was a part of the study said,
“Untreated Heart Failure is a rapidly progressive and potentially fatal condition, so it is important to recognize the symptoms promptly and get treated at the earliest to prevent a rapidly downhill course.”
He added, “This is especially critical, since there is no way to reverse the damage already done, and treatment helps in containing further damage to the heart and other body organs. Simple medicines and in some cases implantable devices are known to benefit these patients and prolong their survival.”
He further explained, “Also, it’s important to understand that heart failure is preventable if we manage its risk factors early and adequately. This includes optimum management of unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, alcohol consumption), high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.”
The study notes, ‘The study found that heart failure patients in India, Africa and South East Asia were approximately 10 years younger than those in South America and China. The mean age for heart failure was 59 years in India.’
Dr Prabhakara Shetty Heggunje, Head of the Department of Cardiology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Bengaluru, “Heart failure is a common ailment for the elderly. Coronary artery disease and high blood pressure are the common causes leading to heart failure.”
He elaborated saying, “Prevention, early detection and treatment of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol by healthy eating, regular exercise and regular health checks can lower one’s chances of developing heart failure.”
“Early detection and appropriate treatment of heart failure can make people feel better and live longer,” concluded Dr Shetty
“The physical inactivity is known to predispose an individual o heart attack, hypertension, obesity, all of which directly or indirectly contribute to heart failure,” said Dr Praveen Kulkarni, Consultant Cardiology (Invasive and non-invasive), Global Hospitals, Mumbai.