THE BURDEN OF HEART FAILURE

Source: www.africanakua.com |Gabriel Fiebor, Ghana

Heart failure places a heavy burden not only on the sick person and their families but also on the society through the use of expensive health care resources. 

Heart failure simply means the inability of the heart to pump sufficient blood to meet the demands of oxygen and nutrients for the body.     

Unlike most cardiovascular diseases, heart failure is becoming more common. Nearly one million new cases are diagnosed annually worldwide, making it the most rapidly growing cardiovascular disorder.

However, the incidence of heart failure increases with age although it can affect people of all ages.

3D illustration Human Internal Organic – Human Heart, medical concept.

Some factors that can make you susceptible to heart failure include;

  • Anemia (low level of blood in our body)
  • Hypertension (a sustained elevation of your blood pressure)
  • Valvular stenosis (abnormal narrowing of the heart valves)
  • Congenital heart defect (these are abnormalities of the heart that are present at birth)
  • Diabetes mellitus (uncontrolled blood sugar)
  • Drug abuse especially cocaine. Substances like alcohol
  • Aging: the risk increases after 65 years  

Signs that may indicate heart failure

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Distended neck veins
  • Palpitation
  • Restlessness
  • Weakness and fatigue

Ways that enhances the prevention of heart failure

  • A healthy diet
  • Reduce salt and sugar intake
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Avoid smoking and excess alcohol intake
  • Adopt a physically active lifestyle

 Ways to manage heart failure

  • Reduce the workload on the heart by having enough rest
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Take medications as prescribed to the doctor

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