Chennai: Chennai is said to be witnessing a rapid increase in the number of heart failure patients. Clinical data suggests that an alarming 80 per cent of patients reach a doctor/cardiologist at an advanced stage of the disease, when the heart has already suffered considerable damage.
Medical experts from the city have raised concerns regarding delayed diagnosis of heart failure, due to the high death rates associated with it. It is said one out of three heart failure patients die within one year of diagnosis.
According to Dr R Ravi Kumar, senior consultant and associate clinical lead, cardiology & heart failure program, MGM Healthcare, Chennai, “the key to living a longer and better quality of life with heart failure, is early diagnosis and by modern methods, including use of wearable devices, NT pro BNP test and predictive analytics, it is possible to diagnose heart failure early and stop further progression. Once detected, lifestyle modifications and medications can delay disease progression. As the condition worsens and the heart becomes weaker, treatment gets more complex and could also have a psychological impact on patients. Collaborative care is important, as patients might also tend to develop symptoms of depression and anxiety”.
Depression and anxiety can contribute to poor adherence that can ultimately worsen the symptoms and lead to repeated hospitalisations or death.