CHENNAI: With youth failing to kick the butt despite all the government-sponsored anti-nicotine campaigns, experts are cautioning its impact on smokers’ overall health which could lead to various cardiovascular conditions including heart failure.
At least 17 per cent of patients die within 90 days of being diagnosed with heart failure.
Despite being a major public health challenge, heart failure is often neglected, and commonly misinterpreted as a heart attack and awareness in this regard needs to be spread, opined Dr Abraham Oomman, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals.
With close to 10 million patients in the country, heart failure is the leading cause of repeat hospitalisations among all cardiovascular diseases.
“Heart failure is a chronic disease where the heart muscle responsible for pumping blood weakens over time. At our hospital, we have witnessed at least 30 per cent of patients in various grades of heart failure every week,” said Dr R Ravi Kumar, Sr Cardiologist Heart Failure and Heart transplant, MGM Hospital.
“Unfortunately, most heart failure patients are admitted to the hospital at an advanced stage of the disease as they fail to recognise the symptoms and are not aware of the advantages of an early treatment,” he added.
Patients should monitor common symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen ankles or legs or abdomen, unexplained weight gain, fatigue while performing routine activities or even the need for elevated pillows while sleeping to breathe properly.
Detecting warning signs swiftly will help patients keep their condition in check and support the cardiologist to alter the treatment according to the patient’s illness in every stage of heart failure.
“We’ve observed remarkable improvement in heart failure patients who adhere to treatment schedules, adopt a healthy lifestyle and most importantly quit smoking. Effective heart failure management with timely treatment is a way to reduce mortality and hospitalisation,” said Dr Abraham Oomman.