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European warning on heart failure

Wednesday May 6th, 2015

As many as 20% of people in developed European countries face developing heart failure, experts warned today.

The figures were revealed as Heart Failure Awareness Day is due to be marked across Europe over the weekend.

Experts say there is a lack of awareness of heart failure and the need to seek urgent treatment.

Warning signs include swelling of the legs and increased breathlessness.

The Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology says patients face increased risk of dying if hospital treatment is delayed by four hours or more once symptoms occur.

It says that many people regard heart failure as just a normal part of ageing - or that it is not serious.

The disease affects 26 million people worldwide - and up to 45% of patients admitted to hospital die within a year.

The chair of the British Society for Heart Failure, Professor Andrew Clark, said: "For patients with untreated heart failure it feels as if every breath in and out is through a narrow straw. Their prognosis is worse than for most forms of cancer.

"But treatment at least doubles life expectancy and many cases could be prevented if patients knew what do to."

More at Heart Failure Matters

Tags: Europe | Heart Health | UK News

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