Experts, on the occasion of World Heart Day, have urged people to pay more attention to the early signs and symptoms that are indicative of an underlying heart disease, to ensure early diagnosis. According to experts, by the year 2020, the burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in India is projected to surpass that of any other country in the world.
The experts says that Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in India with an increase of 53 per cent from 2005. The disease is characterized by reduced supply of blood to the heart. Ischemic heart disease is the main reason for Heart Failure in Indian patients. It has been noted that amongst other CVDs, Heart Failure has emerged as an epidemic in India accounting for 46 per cent mortality due to cardiac reasons, within one-year of diagnosis. According to experts India is home to estimated 5.4 million people living with Heart Failure who face high risk of hospitalization, death and poor quality of life. Dr Shirish (M S) Hiremath, President, Cardiological Society of India, said, "With the burden of Heart Failure snowballing in India and the associated high death rates, it is necessary to prioritize heart failure as a cardiovascular disease. The need of the hour is, coming together of all stakeholders to develop a community level approach to raise awareness about this condition, which is often used interchangeably with Heart Attack, or seen as an aftermath of the latter." Dr Sundeep Mishra, Professor of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, said, "In India, Heart Failure occurs a decade earlier than people in western countries, with the average age being 59 years. Lack of awareness, out of pocket expenditure and lack of infrastructure are corroborating to the increase in disease prevalence. However, the availability of new treatment options like sacubitril/valsartan - combination of two existing blood-pressure-reducing medications – are found to be highly effective. It achieved a substantial 20-percent reduction in death or repeat hospitalization, which is a huge benefit as compared with the currently available therapies." The expert says that these heart diseases are rising in youngsters, the country has undergone rapid epidemiological and demographic transitions in the last two decades. As a result, the burden of Heart Failure in India has increased by nearly 140 percent from 1990 to 2013. With increasing life style deviation and spiking stress, its catchment area is ominously increasing, taking even youngsters in its grip. The mean age of heart failure patients in India is 59 years which is approximately 10 years younger than patients in US and Europe. Experts says that timely diagnosis of the condition and lifestyle modifications coupled with advanced treatment management protocols are required to curb its growing incidence reducing the associated hospitalization, mortality and morbidity