Jan. 25, 2011 Heart failure diagnosis is four times higher in the most economically disadvantaged communities and twice as high among South Asians a new study at the University of Leicester has found.
The doctoral research 'Failing Hearts -- does race matter? Epidemiology of heart failure in a multi-ethnic population' by Dr Hanna Blackledge, in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester, is the first to examine the situation in different ethnic and socio-economic communities and reveals gaps in cardiovascular health in these communities.
The study's results demonstrate a three-fold increase of hospitalisation for heart failure over the last two decades in the population -- with the more disadvantaged population experiencing a higher burden of disease and mortality.
Heart failure is a final stage of many cardiovascular diseases and once diagnosed patients' survival chances are poor, with 40% of patients dying within one year.
With ever increasing concern for population's health, the study emphasises the importance of effective heart failure diagnosis and treatment for population's health and quantifies risks linked to deprivation and ethnicity. The published results informed the development of epidemiological aspects of both local and international guidelines on heart failure management in the last decade.
A specialist in public health, Dr Blackledge commented: "This was the first comprehensive study of heart failure outcomes based on long-term observation of an unselected population. It was also the first study looking in detail at burden of heart failure and its risk factors in South Asian populations resident in the UK."
Her academic supervisor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine Iain Squire added: "Hanna's research makes an important contribution to what we know about heart failure in a typical Western, industrialised society. In addition to demonstrating the overall magnitude of this increasingly important public health issue, the research shows the burden of illness in specific groups in our population, in particular ethnic minority, or socioeconomically deprived patients. Public Health policy and health service provision will be informed and guided by Dr Blackledge's work."
To improve the situation it is crucial to address the issue now, says Dr Blackledge: "By the year 2030 there will be 50% more elderly people in the population and the importance of these conditions and scope for preventing them will rise even further."
Despite such inequality between different communities, timely diagnosis and treatment balance out differences in the survival, the main predictors of mortality becoming an age and stage at presentation not ethnicity or deprivation.
Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.
Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.