Cardiologists have linked about 63percent symptoms of heart failure in patients to depression cases, saying that more awareness will help to stem the rising incidence of disease in the country.
The expert opined untreated hypertension as the major cause of heart failure in Nigeria.
Studies identified untreated hypertension as the commonest cause of heart failure, degenerative valvular disease as an emerging cause of heart failure, and coronary artery disease as a rare cause of heart failure among Nigeria Africans.
According to the experts, heart failure impacts more than 60 million people worldwide, 1 in every 5 people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their life time and 1 in every 4 people diagnosed of heart failure that are 65 years old or older are re-hospitalised within 30 days of discharge.
Ikechukwu Ogah, Consultant Cardiologist University College Hospital, Ibadan said that despite the improvements in care of heart failure over the past 20 years, the prognosis of heart failure is still unacceptably high, even for patients with the best available treatment.
“All heart failure patients, regardless of their symptoms are at high risk of dying. 76 per cent of heart failure patients struggle to perform their daily activities and 63 per cent report symptoms that are consistent with depression,”
“50 per cent of all heart failure patients will die within 5 years of diagnosis.” he added.
Ogah further said that heart failure places a huge burden on patients’ life, leaving many unable to do simple task, frequent hospitalisation and higher mortality, which can place a huge burden not only on them, but also on their family and caregivers and the wider society.
Heart failure, sometimes known as congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart muscle does not pump blood as well as it should around the body. Its signs and symptoms commonly include shortness of breath, excessive tiredness, coughing (or chronic cough), and leg swelling.
However, the experts advised that person with heart failure needs to be close with their cardiologist or a physician that specialises in the disease of the heart at least once in three months.
According to Amam Mbakwem, consultant cardiologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) said Nigerians need the right information; need to be more aware, the government need to sensitize the people more about dangers in heart failure in respect of their healthy living.
“People diagnosed with the disease should keep a healthy lifestyle and visit their general practitioner regularly to check their uric acid, cholesterol level while continuing with their monthly medication,” said Mbakwem.