Deadly legacy of surviving a heart attack
More of us are living on after a cardiac event but the numbers with after effects are on the rise, says LAURA MILNE
within 12 months. Although there is medication to manage the condition and control symptoms, there is currently no cure and those with severe heart failure will eventually need a heart transplant to extend their lives. Those with mild or moderate heart failure may be able to live a normal life with tablets. There are now more than 500,000 patients diagnosed with heart failure in the UK and 75,000 of those are under the age of 65. Experts have warned that the numbers developing the condition are on the increase, due to an ageing population and improving heart attack survival rates. Managing the condition places a massive burden on the NHS, costing more than £2billion a year.
Hospital visits due to heart failure rose by more than a third in the past decade from 36 per cent from 107,000 to 146,000 between 2004/05 and 2014/15, according to the British Heart Foundation.
“Over the past decade we have seen an alarming increase in the number of heart failure patients attending hospital,” says Prof Peter Weissberg of the BHF.
“As more people survive heart attacks, an increasing number are living with permanently damaged heart muscle that can leave sufferers constantly short of breath. Sadly many will die within a year of being admitted to hospital.”
Elaine had her heart attack in