IN heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Argentina. This is also one of the big factors that usually cause a sudden death. As with all CVDs, the risk of HF increases with age. However, specialists consulted by THE NATION warn that middle-aged people (45 to 55 years old)due to the increased incidence of risk factors generated by the coronavirus pandemic, such as sedentary lifestyle, alcohol consumption or overweight, they should also be vigilant to avoid heart problems that can later lead to HF.
according to him Ministry of Health of the Nationin 2020, the last available figure, More people died from HF (24,008) than from acute myocardial infarction (18,881). Experts point out that this is because The treatment of HF is complex and requires comprehensive follow-up, something that not all patients undergo.
In fact, at the local level, HF deaths account for 25% of all CVD deaths (97,231). Data from 2020 show that deaths from this deficiency grow exponentially from the age of 60. But according to Florence Renedocoordinator of heart failure, mechanical circulatory care and intrathoracic transplantation of Favaloro Foundationare observed more often heart attacks in younger people due to the high frequency of risk factors such as sedentary lifestyle, stress, alcohol or tobacco consumption and overweight, among others. This heart attack can then lead to heart failure, like most heart diseases, if not treated properly.
Mirta Ten, Head of the Heart Failure and Transplant Program ICBA Cardiovascular Instituteexplains that heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump blood properly. This is because of the left ventricle cannot contract properly or cannot relax due to the “hardening” of the heart.
The specialist points out that this pathology manifests itself in the following ways: “The symptoms that allow us to think that the patient has HF are shortness of breath during exercise, which can occur even if the condition progresses when the patient is at rest. IC may also cause fatigue, dizziness, loss of consciousness, swelling of the legs or difficulty urinating.
Diez adds that the most common is that HF is achieved after suffering a heart attack caused by coronary artery blockage or other risk factors such as overweight, high blood pressure and diabetes, among others. All this, warns the specialist, they are also risk factors that affect young people.
However, Diez clarifies that there are other risk factors that lead to heart failure without the need to have suffered a previous heart attack. These factors can be genetic cardiomyopathies; diseases such as Chagas and substance abuse or so-called “toxic causes” generated by chemotherapy after cancer treatment. Nicholas Atamanyukhead of the ward for heart failure and hypertension Australian Hospitalpoints out that in the context of substance abuse, the most common among patients is excessive alcohol consumption.
“The use of alcohol in various registers is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular risk. But there is a time when a person consumes too much and when the opposite happens, the risk begins to increase and directly affects the myocardium. However, up toSome patients are able to restore normal ventricular function after approximately six months of drinking alcohol.“, Atamanyuk describes.
The specialist adds that in people under the age of 40 the most common cause of HF is not heart attacks, but heart disease, the causes of which are not easy to identify. He also points out that although it is not uncommon for there were young patients who underwent a case of coronavirus, which generates myocarditis, which can later lead to HF.
“Therefore, we recommend that patients who have had Covid-19 have a cardiovascular examination. In addition, the closure has led many to have an inadequate diet and to consume large amounts of alcohol. All this, added to the sedentary lifestyle, leads to an increase in risk factors, “said Atamanyuk.
“HF increases significantly in those over the age of 70, but there are young people who have congenital heart disease or who have had cancer treatment and may develop HF. On the other hand, every time we live in a world that makes us calmer, we have stopped moving and this increases cardiovascular risks. “The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated all of these risk factors and, in addition, has prompted many people to postpone control,” Renedo said.
According to Diez, death from HF occurs when this condition progresses and generates a picture in which the patient experiences shortness of breath at rest, fluid retention and suffers from a lack of blood supply to organs, especially the kidneys and liver.
Another important aspect for HF is that it is one of the main reasons they cause it sudden death. This is defined as a death in which the person had no symptoms within 24 hours before death. “HF generates sudden death due to arrhythmias originating from the ventricles, such as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. “There are many other causes that cause sudden death, such as genetic problems, but HF, especially when there is a deterioration in heart function, can lead to sudden death,” said Diez.