LUCKNOW Prevention and treatment services for cardiovascular diseases have been severely disrupted amid healthcare providers more focused on combating spread of vector-borne and Covid infections, said health experts.
“With the growing burden of heart failure in India, there is need to recognise it as a public health priority. However, another barrier to care that needs to be overcome is poor adherence to treatment,” said Dr Nakul Sinha, director, interventional cardiology, Medanta Hospital.
Cardiovascular diseases affect Indians at least a decade earlier than their western counterparts, in their most productive years. This worrying trend is attributed to several factors, including stressful lifestyles, poor dietary habits, alcohol or drug misuse and lack of adequate physical activity. Identifying early symptoms of heart failure is essential, said experts.
“In our population, up to one-fourth of patients default from treatment, especially once they feel that symptoms have regressed. This non-adherence can snowball into further complications, increasing risk of hospital admissions. Awareness can facilitate early and effective disease management,” said Sinha.
Common symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in ankles, legs or the stomach, and difficulty in sleeping. Less typical signs include nocturnal cough, wheezing, loss of appetite and palpitations, he said.
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