Heart Failure - A Condition Still To Be Investigated

Heart Failure - A Condition Still To Be Investigated

Provided by Karol Bociek, Epidemiology Report Writer with Black Swan Analysis.

Heart failure is a condition that constitutes a hallmark of the “westernised” lifestyle common in developed societies, involving the omnipresence of cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet and alcohol consumption. Despite the high prevalence of heart failure, certain aspects of the disease are still to be explained.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DISEASE


Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a chronic disease during which the left ventricle of the heart is not able to supply sufficient blood flow to the body. Exacerbations of CHF are known as acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). The disease is characterised mainly by breathlessness at rest or on exertion, reduced exercise tolerance, tiredness and worsening fluid retention, which appears as lung congestion and/or swollen ankles and legs.

Heart failure is divided into two types based on the ejection fraction, a parameter describing the heart’s ability to eject blood expressed by the percentage of blood leaving the heart during every ventricular contraction (normally > 50%). Approximately half of CHF patients have a reduced ability of the left ventricle to contract and pump blood, which leads to the ejection fraction decrease below 40%. This condition is called chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (CHF-REF). In the other half of CHF patients, the ejection fraction is preserved or only slightly reduced, but filling of the left ventricle is impaired and often accompanied by thickening of the left ventricular wall. This condition is called chronic heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (CHF-PEF). A third type—mid-range CHF—has been proposed, and includes CHF-PEF cases with ejection fraction between 40% and 49%.

Among the risk factors of heart failure are ischaemic heart disease, toxic and inflammatory damage, infection, infiltration, metabolic and genetic abnormalities, hypertension, structural defects and arrhythmias. CHF-REF usually occurs in younger, male patients with a history of heart disease and hypertension. CHF-PEF is more common in the elderly, women and patients with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. Both types have distinct underlying causes that have not been completely understood.

Common treatments of heart failure include agents aimed at ensuring adequate fluid balance and blood supply to organs, such as loop diuretics and vasodilators. The prognosis of the condition is aggravated by multiple factors, e.g., age, severity of the disease, poor socioeconomic conditions, presence of certain biomarkers and genetic factors, a range of comorbidities, as well as patient non-adherence.

The prevalence of heart failure is associated with cardiovascular risk factors in general. The observed differences in prevalence in various ethnic groups, e.g., the higher risk for incident CHF in African Americans, have been associated with lower household incomes and coexistence of other lifestyle-related conditions and factors such as diabetes, hypertension and high calorific intake. However, this does not explain the lower rates of heart failure observed in females, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics, which requires further studies.

EPIOMIC REPORTS AS A SOURCE OF USEFUL INFORMATION


The recent Epiomic reports on CHF (December 2017) and ADHF (October 2017) published by Black Swan Analysis provide a 10-year forecast of the prevalent populations for CHF and ADHF across 12 major markets (USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, India) split by gender and 5-year age cohorts. Moreover, CHF/ADHF-REF and -PEF patients have been quantified, alongside a forecast of patient populations with main comorbidities—all presented at a country level across the 10-year forecast snapshot. In addition to the prevalence data, the reports contain an overview of the causes, risk factors, diagnosis, prognosis and comorbidities of the disease.

The Epiomic report series is built using data sourced from the proprietary Epiomic patient segmentation database, with estimates based on a combination of several world-class sources delivering information from patient registries, clinical trials and epidemiology studies. All sources used to generate the data and analysis are listed.

The reports enable quantifying patient populations in global markets to target the development of future products, pricing strategies and launch plans, as well as deliver more accurate information for clinical trials in study sizing and realistic patient recruitment for various countries.

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(Source - Pixabay)

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