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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-35

Heart failure in India: The INDUS (INDia Ukieri Study) study


1 Department of Cardiology, Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Cardiology, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Centre for Community Medicine, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Cardiology, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK

Correspondence Address:
Vivek Chaturvedi
Department of Cardiology, Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-5414.182988

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Introduction: There are few data on heart failure (HF) burden and none available on the community prevalence of HF in India. We conducted a study aimed at determining the HF prevalence in a rural community as well as tertiary hospital care setting in North India. We also reviewed the existing literature regarding the estimated and projected prevalence of HF in India. Methodology: All adults (>20 years) with chronic breathlessness in six villages under a primary health care center in Northern India were identified and evaluated with standardized questionnaire and physical examination by trained health care workers. HF was diagnosed by standardized criteria and a transthoracic echocardiogram was performed in all subjects. In the hospital study, 500 consecutive patients presenting to our tertiary referral hospital were evaluated for the diagnosis of HF. For the systematic review, all published studies addressing HF or the burden of risk factors in India were identified. Projections for the absolute HF burden were made using local data and global studies of HF incidence, morbidity, and mortality. Results: Among the surveyed rural adult population of 10,163 patients, chronic breathlessness was present in 128 (1.3%). HF was present in 9% (n = 12), of which 67% (n = 8) had preserved left ventricular (LV) systolic function and 33% (n = 4) had LV systolic dysfunction. Therefore, the prevalence of HF in this general community was 1.2/1000. All patients with HF and preserved ejection fraction had poorly controlled hypertension. In the hospital study, of 500 consecutive patients, 20.4% had HF. Rheumatic heart disease (52%) was the most common cause followed by ischemic heart disease (17%). The mean age of presentation was 39 ± 16 years. The prevalence of HF in the outpatient department patients was 22.5% below 30 years and 14.9% above 50 years, reflecting the young population of HF. For the estimates concerning HF burden in India, projections were made using both age-specific extrapolations from developing countries and data regarding development of HF in the presence of risk factors. The estimated prevalence of HF is about 1% of the total population or about 8–10 million individuals. The estimated mortality attributable to HF is about 0.1–0.16 million individuals per year. Conclusions: While our hospital data are consistent with the HF burden and etiology expected in a government tertiary hospital setting, our community-based study is the first of its kind reported from India. The community study demonstrates a surprisingly low prevalence of symptomatic HF in the surveyed villages. This could be partially explained by the rural farming-based community setting but is also likely due to under-reporting of symptoms. Our review of the projected national estimates suggests an alarming burden of HF in India despite a younger population than the developed nations. A significant proportion of this burden may be preventable with better screening and early and adequate treatment of the risk factors.


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