Pune: Cardiac deaths accounted for 46 per cent of mortality in one year in patients with heart failure in India, as compared to non-cardiac causes that led to 16 per cent deaths, revealed an International Congestive Heart Failure (INTER-CHF) study, conducted across six geographies. Ischemic heart disease was the cause of death in 39 per cent and hypertensive heart disease in 17 per cent patients.
The study was aimed at measuring mortality in one year in patients due to heart failure in India, Africa, China, Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America. The rate of mortality among Indian heart failure patients is significantly higher than their counterparts in other geographies.
The study also highlighted that heart failure patients in India, Africa and Southeast Asia are approximately 10 years younger than patients in US and Europe. Mean age at the time of death was 56 years in Africa, 59 years in India, 57 years in Southeast Asia, 60 years in the Middle East, 69 years in China and 72 years in South America. Despite being in the youngest cohorts at baseline, patients in India and Africa had the highest mortality.
This finding may be related to patients with heart failure presenting later for medical care, that is, when they are sicker, in low-income compared with high-income regions and late presentation being associated with a worse prognosis.
Data from low-income and middle-income countries suggests that mortality in patients with heart failure in these countries is greater than that in high-income countries.
Dr Shirish Hiremath, President - Cardiological Society of India (CSI) and Director, Cath Lab, Ruby Hall, Pune, said that the marked variation in mortality in low-income countries like India can be attributed to low awareness, economic burden, health care infrastructure, quality and access to primary health care facilities, environmental and genetic factors.
Highlighting the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment to arrest the progression of heart failure, Dr Hiremath added, “The need of the hour is to develop a comprehensive approach to identifying patients with heart failure at an early stage to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment for improving their quality of life. We need to prioritise heart failure as a non-communicable disease (NCD), which needs urgent attention from all stakeholders in the medical and healthcare industry.”