A new study, conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, has found that heart failure was responsible for one in nine deaths, warning on the growing risks of heart failure across the globe.
The research, which was carried out by Dr. Jarett D. Berry, associate professor in the department of internal medicine and clinical sciences, aimed to investigate the influence of common risk factors of heart failure among Americans.
Having collated data from 51,541 participants, the researchers published their results in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and also published on Medical News Today.
Their result identified high BMI and reduced physical activity as known risk factors for heart failure, adding that both limit the function of the heart in pumping enough blood to meet the body’s oxygen demands, thus leads to heart failure – a chronic and progressive condition.
According to the Lead Author, Dr Berry, there are a number of subtypes of heart failure, one of which is called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). This form of the condition is characterized by a stiffening of the left ventricle and a reduction in its ability to relax between contractions.
He further stated that the stiffening associated with HFpEF means that the ventricle is unable to fill with an adequate amount of blood, and it therefore pumps less oxygen-rich blood around the body.
Berry also noted that lifestyle factors are known to increase the risk of heart failure, including lower levels of physical activity and a higher BMI. Because HFpEF accounts for roughly half of all heart failure cases and typically responds less well to current therapies, there is an important emphasis on prevention.
The import of this discovery is for Nigerians to reduce their risks of heart failure by ensuring they have healthy BMI, live healthy lifestyle and engage in regular physical activity.