heart failure, an epidemic of the XXI century

Written by: Dr. Ramón Querejeta Iraola
Published: | Updated: 18/11/2018
Edited by: Roser Bernés Ubasos

heart failure

What is heart failure?

Heart Failure (HF) is a complex disease. This is a set of signs and symptoms (syndrome) occurring in the advanced stages of a wide variety of heart disease. It is a syndrome resulting from an alteration in the filling of the heart and / or the inability of it to ensure an adequate supply of blood to the different organs of our body. The consequences on the health of patients and their survival, are very serious.



What are its causes?


The IC is the final common pathway of a wide variety of heart disease, but there are two fundamental causes. The first is that Hypertensive heart disease is heart disease that is derived from Hypertension.

The second cause is coronary artery disease is a disease of the heart arteries, called coronary arteries, which when clogged cause angina and myocardial infarction. Other diseases such as intrinsic heart muscle, cardiomyopathy, or valve disease also cause heart failure.


Are there people with a greater predisposition?

People with greater predisposition to develop IC are precisely those that are more predisposed to develop the main causes that produce it, ie Hypertensive Heart Disease and Ischemic Heart Disease. Therefore the list of predisposing factors for IC includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, overweight and obesity, sedentary lifestyle, to which must be added the excessive intake of salt and alcohol. All these factors are modifiable with hygiene and dietary measures and / or drugs and must be changed if we are to combat this epidemic, as they age, which is a fundamental factor, it is not modifiable. Hence the importance of the earliest possible start on correcting the factors that we can change.


Affectation in Spain

The prognosis of HF medium term is comparable to that of the most common cancers in our midst. In addition, consumption attributable to the IC is enormous health resources. It is estimated that the IC is the cause of 3 to 5% of hospital admissions in our country and the leading cause of hospital admission in people over 65 years. Approximately 2% of total health expenditure goes to the IC. The number of annual hospitalizations for heart failure in Spain round the figure of 90,000 in the period from 2003 to 2011, the number of admissions for heart failure in people over 65 increased by 26%.

The IC represents a public health problem of the first order because it is a common disease that is prevalent. In developed countries, approximately 2% of the adult population suffers IC, a percentage that increases exponentially with age to over 8% among those over 75 years. It should be noted that since the population census of 1991 until January 2012, the Spanish population over 65 has increased by 50%. This high prevalence, combined with the progressive aging of the population, the IC can qualify as an epidemic of the XXI century.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Ramón Querejeta Iraola

Specialist in Cardiology, Dr. Querejeta Iraola 's Degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Navarra. Head of Section at the Donostia Hospital, develops his research in the Institute of Health Research-BioDonostia. Currently, belongs to medical equipment Medical Center Urbieta.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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