Heart failure, which increases 10,000 people a year and shortens lives, can be prevented by efforts

The number of people with heart failure is increasing as the elderly age. Cardiac function gradually deteriorates, and if left untreated, life will be shortened...

Nov 13,2020 | Maria

Heart failure, which increases 10,000 people a year and shortens lives, can be prevented by efforts

The number of people with heart failure is increasing as the elderly age. Cardiac function gradually deteriorates, and if left untreated, life will be shortened while being repeatedly hospitalized and discharged. I want to be aware of what kind of illness it is and prevent it appropriately by reviewing lifestyle habits.

Heart failure accounts for about 40% of heart diseases, which are the second leading cause of death in Japan. The number of inpatients increases by 10,000 every year. It is estimated that the number will reach 1.3 million in 2030. It is called a "heart failure pandemic" following the explosive epidemic, and countermeasures are urgently needed.

On the other hand, not many people understand what heart failure is. Although it is recognized as "a disease name often written in the cause of death of the elderly," it is difficult to reach the consciousness of prevention.

Heart failure is a disease in which the pumping function of pumping blood from the heart is impaired and blood cannot be distributed throughout the body. For this reason, a feeling of fatigue and cold hands and feet occur. In addition, the ability of blood to return to the heart is weakened, causing blood to stagnate, causing swelling and shortness of breath. It gradually deteriorates and shortens life.

The characteristic is that once the symptoms worsen, physical activity will be restricted, such as being unable to move painfully even after receiving treatment. Professor Issei Komuro of the Department of Cardiology, the University of Tokyo said, "Many people associate cancer as a disease with a poor prognosis, but heart failure is actually worse. The average 5-year survival rate for cancer is about 70%. On the other hand, the 4-year survival rate for heart failure is about 60%. "

However, "heart failure can often be prevented by the efforts of the individual. Appropriate treatment can prevent the aggravation of heart failure, which is very different from cancer" (Professor Komuro).

Life Style

So how do you prevent it? Heart failure develops when the heart is strained. "The number one factor is arteriosclerosis. If left untreated, it can cause a decrease in heart function and a burden," said Yumino, president of the medical corporation Yumino (Toshima, Tokyo). It is important to prevent lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obesity, which can be said to be a reserve force for heart failure.

If you already have these illnesses, review your lifestyle, such as refraining from salt, not overeating, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly. Receive medication as needed.

Arrhythmias such as myocardial infarction and atrial fibrillation, and diseases of the heart itself such as valvular disease and cardiomyopathy also cause heart failure. If these heart diseases are left untreated and the heart function continues to decline, the risk of developing the disease increases. "Be careful because overwork, overdrinking, eating, and the common cold can cause heart failure," said Professor Komuro. If a heart disease is pointed out, I would like to receive appropriate treatment at a specialized cardiovascular medical institution.

Early symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, swelling, tiredness, and cold hands and feet, but these are common symptoms and are often overlooked. The reserve capacity of the heart is large, and even if the function deteriorates considerably, the discovery may be delayed because the heart becomes larger and replaces it. Professor Komuro cautions, "If you treat it early, you can make the heart that has deteriorated and become larger. Early detection is important so as not to worsen heart failure."

For early detection, first grasp your symptoms correctly. "If there is a change that makes it impossible to move the same as before, such as the stairs that climbed a couple of months ago can no longer proceed at the same speed, please consult us."

In addition, if you have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, shortness of breath during exercise, myocardial infarction, etc., you should be examined regularly. A blood test can also determine the risk.

In heart failure, most people can be discharged from the hospital even if they are hospitalized due to suffocation, but they are not completely cured. Exacerbations are repeated depending on lifestyle and other factors. First of all, it is important to prevent lifestyle-related diseases so that heart failure does not occur.


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The finest way of living may be summed up in one word: waking up. When you embrace such a way of life, you commit to transcending beyond your daily routines, your acquired second-hand views and viewpoints, the stories you keep holding onto, and your ego's agenda.

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