The diagnosis of heart failure means that the heart is not pumping as well as it should, and the number of people with the condition is expected to increase 46% by 2030. A review of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicates that heart failure deaths are especially evident in middle-aged and younger adults. And with more than 6 million Americans living with the condition, every 2 in 5 Americans are either affected by heart failure or personally know someone who is. With these alarming trends in mind. Healthcare company Abbott has launched a new campaign which urges Americans to take control and do the heart thing – talk with their doctor, family and friends about the signs, symptoms and therapies available to treat heart failure.
Americans hesitate to address heart failure and their personal risk. Abbott, the global leader in heart failure treatment and technologies, asked Americans about the condition.
- While more than 50% of people understand that heart failure is manageable if identified early, only 1 in 5 said they could correctly identify the majority of heart failure symptoms.
- Still, 65% said they wish they knew more about heart failure, but only 1 in 5 are likely to speak to their doctor because they are afraid of what it might mean.
Heart failure is not another term for heart attack. Heart failure is a chronic and progressive condition in which the heart is not able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Heart failure symptoms include:
- Feeling fatigued and weak
- Shortness of breath with exertion or even at rest
- Chest pain
- Swelling in the legs, ankles or feet
“The number of people developing heart failure in the Western World is growing at an alarming rate. It’s very important that people understand how heart failure can affect them and learn more about early prevention and treatment,” said Philip B. Adamson, M.D., chief medical officer for Abbott’s heart failure business. “Heart failure can impact anyone. Not knowing about it doesn’t make it go away. There are several treatments that work very well to improve symptoms and help people live longer, more productive lives, even if they develop heart failure. But it starts with talking to your primary care doctor.”
- Hispanics and African Americans have an increased risk of developing heart failure. The incidence of heart failure is 3.5 per 1,000 persons in Hispanic communities and 4.6 in African Americans.
- When asked about heart failure, these groups were not more likely to accurately identify symptoms or know what to do if they were experiencing heart failure.
- Only 25% of African Americans and Hispanics said they would quickly recognize if they were experiencing heart failure. And for those that could recognize heart failure, just 31% of African Americans and 33% of Hispanics said they would know what to do if they thought they were experiencing heart failure.
- Men and pregnant women are also considered high risk for developing heart failure. Yet, only 1 in 3 men recognize that they are at increased risk and only 12% of women were aware pregnancy put them at higher risk for the condition.
Most people don’t think heart failure will impact them or their family, but the reality is that anyone can develop heart failure – and at any age. The condition should not be ignored. Even after identifying their specific age, gender and race as “at risk” for heart failure, only 21% of Americans feel concern over their own personal risk.
The good news is that there are therapies available for those impacted by heart failure. Abbott offers several options to help those with the disease, along with resources to help people talk with their doctor about symptoms and risk factors. To learn more visit www. Abbott.com/myths.