‘Heart failure should be recognised as public health priority’

Mumbai (Maharashtra): Heart failure is a global health problem, affecting about 26 million people worldwide.

The disease presents a major and growing health-economic burden that currently costs the world economy 108 billion dollars every year, which accounts for both direct and indirect costs.

In India, it kills almost 23 percent of patients within one-year of diagnosis. The disease burden of heart failure is around 10 million in India.

To raise awareness of heart failure, cardiologists from the country have highlighted the need to recognise heart failure as a public health priority.

“In India, heart failure is increasing at an epidemic proportion with over 10 million patients, already. The growing disease burden also particularly highlights concerns like early age of disease onset in the younger population (mean age 53 years), accelerated progression of the disease requiring repeated admissions (HF is the commonest cause of admissions to hospital) and the associated high mortality rates. Therefore, the need of the hour is to develop a comprehensive approach to identify patients with heart failure at an early stage to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment for improving their quality and survival,” said Dr. Ashok Punjabi, cardiologist at the Lilavati Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai.

An ongoing PARADIGM-HF study published by JAMA Cardiology, revealed that new advanced treatment options for Heart Failure significantly improved 7 out of 10 types of physical and social activities in heart failure patients at 8 months. The improvement in patient’s quality of life persisted during the three-year follow up period of the study.
The analysis explored the positive effects of treatment on routine activities, ultimately improving the quality of

life of heart failure patients:
• Dressing

• Showering

• Climbing a flight of stairs

• Walking 100 meters

• Visiting family or friends

• Jogging

• Gardening

• Hobbies

• Doing household chores

• Intimate/sexual relationships

Dr. K. Sarat Chandra, President, Cardiological Society of India, said, “Since HF is a progressive disease with high associated death rates amongst Indians, there are enough reasons to be alarmed over matters of the heart. The need of the hour is to recognize heart failure as a public health priority in the country. Today, there are advanced treatment options available for heart failure. While lifestyle modifications are mandatory, medicines help in reducing symptoms, improving quality of life and reducing mortality.”

PARADIGM-HF is the largest clinical trial ever conducted on heart failure. The study enrolled 7,623 patients, concluding that advanced treatment options like sacubitril/valsartan not only reduced the risk of death and hospitalization among heart failure patients but also had a positive impact on their quality of life. (ANI)