Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are a major public health challenge with nearly 61% of total deaths in India.Unfortunately, the issue of multiple interlinked chronic conditions has further exacerbated this problem. One such vicious trio commonly found is heart failure (HF), diabetes mellitus (DM), and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Studies suggest that among heart failure patients, nearly 25-40% suffer from diabetes and approximately 40 to 50% of HF patients have chronic kidney disease (CKD).Moreover, heart failure patients suffering from both diabetes and CKD are at a substantially greater risk of hospitalisation and mortality due to heart failure. Therefore, with the increase in high-risk patients, raising awareness about heart failure and morbidities is the need of the hour!
Hence, regular cardiologist consultations along with timely treatment to block the progression of heart failure is imperative. It is also important that patients keep a close watch on symptoms like shortness of breath, rapid or irregular heartbeats, swelling in the legs and persistent cough. Over and above that, compliance with the course of treatment is an unavoidable element for overall heart failure management.
Dr. Vishal Rastogi, Additional Director, Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi, shared his experience, “In my clinical observation, more than 50% heart failure patients present with associated health conditions like diabetes, obesity and CKD. Therefore, patients need a comprehensive treatment approach with strict adherence to prescribed treatment schedules. Regular check-ups and reporting even minor changes in health parameter to cardiologists will help take pre-emptive action to avoid serious consequences of heart failure.”
Healthy heart tips for heart failure patients:
- Track your symptoms: Keep a track of even small changes in your body and report to your cardiologist
- Eat healthy: The co-existing conditions like heart failure, kidney disease and diabetes need a well-researched diet plan. Consulting a professional dietician or taking advice from a cardiologist will help understand the right diet suited for you
- Consult your cardiologist: After evaluating the severity of your heart failure and co-existing health issues, cardiologists recommend a personalised treatment plan. Follow it and go for regular check-ups to review the effect of treatment
- Adherence to treatment: When there are no visible symptoms, patients tend to stop medications. Remember heart failure is a silent condition. Non-adherence to the treatment plan may lead to severe complications