India home to nearly 40% of world’s heart failure patients
India is home to 40% of the world’s 2.6 crore patients with heart failure, yet there is poor awareness about the condition and its treatment. Maharashtra public health minister Eknath Shinde delivered this pithy message while kick starting the Times of India’s initiative on heart failure last week. Called the Beat Heart Failure, the initiative is partnered by pharma major Novartis and aims to educate the masses about heart failure and encourage them to undertake a basic symptom check. The meeting—first in a series of discussions to be held in various cities—was attended by select bureaucrats and academicians in Mumbai who discussed ways to tackle this relatively new epidemic in India. Setting up heart failure registry and starting heart failure clinics in medical schools and private hospitals emerged as main solutions.

He quoted a 2017 study that showed that only about 50% of India’s heart failure patients take medicines. “We need to work out a way ahead to ensure that more patients are diagnosed early and started on treatment,” he added.

KEM Hospital cardiology department head Dr Prafulla Kerkar said the problem of heart failure seems worse here because the condition manifests a decade earlier among Indians. A problem vis-à-vis heart failure is that no one is directly diagnosed as a heart failure patient because it usually develops as a result of some other chronic condition. “If a patient has diabetes or cardiovascular disease and has a low ejection fraction (heart’s pumping capacity), the patient has a high risk of heart failure and should undergo further diagnostic tests,” he added.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-home-to-nearly-40-of-worlds-heart-failure-patients/articleshow/71090335.cms
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