Did you know that 28% of deaths in India are due to heart diseases? And did you know that almost 50% of Indians aged 45+ suffer from hypertension? It is well known that high blood pressure can lead to various medical ailments, heart failure is one of them. Hypertension is one of the most prominent risk factors for heart diseases in India.
The clogged blood vessels or weak heart muscles make it difficult for the heart to push blood to all body parts. This increases blood pressure and eventually results in an increase in heart size and then heart failure.
The risk of heart failure increases when heredity is combined with unhealthy lifestyle choices like eating junk food, too much salt intake, sedentary lifestyle, consumption of aerated drinks and alcohol, smoking cigarettes and stress. Since early hypertension may remain asymptomatic, regular blood pressure checks and consulting a cardiologist on noticing high blood pressure levels should be the priority to reduce chances of heart failure in the future. Long-standing hypertension leads to heart failure, creating a pressing need to follow cardiologists’ advice on medicine schedules and preventive lifestyle habits.
Discussing the need for holistic treatment to prevent heart failure, Dr. Aditya Kapoor, Cardiologist, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science, Lucknow says, “With the growing incidence of chronic conditions like hypertension, India is witnessing a rise in heart failure cases. Sedentary lifestyles, spiking stress, high sugar and salt consumption are the leading causes for this rise. In my clinic, nearly 20-25% patients suffer from heart failure, out of which one-third are also diagnosed with hypertension. Therefore, holistic management of hypertension and heart failure with timely treatment, lifestyle modifications and regular cardiologist conversations can help heart failure patients lead healthy lives.”
According to Dr. Nakul Sinha, Director-Interventional Cardiology, Medanta Hospital, Lucknow, “There is an urgent need to recognise heart failure as a health priority. Heart failure is a serious condition that requires lifelong management and patients require constant monitoring. Dedicated heart failure clinics with primary healthcare providers and well-trained nursing staff can help facilitate effective and quality care for heart failure patients.”
Overall, to manage both the conditions and lead a fulfilled life we need to keep the following things in mind:
• Regular check-up of blood pressure: Keep a check on your blood pressure on a weekly basis and if you notice any risk, consult your doctor immediately
• Avoid stress: Stress management like relaxation, breathing exercises, simplifying your sleep pattern, meditation or yoga can reduce your blood pressure
• Lifestyle modifications: opt for few healthy initiatives to manage your blood pressure. Follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and limit salt intake etc.