Sedentary lifestyle may make treatment of heart difficult

By: | Updated: February 28, 2017 3:13 PM

Lack of exercise and excessive weight may increase the risk of a type of heart failure that is particularly challenging to treat, researchers including one of Indian origin have warned.

Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart is unable to supply enough oxygenated blood to meet the demands of the body. (AP photo)

Lack of exercise and excessive weight may increase the risk of a type of heart failure that is particularly challenging to treat, researchers including one of Indian origin have warned.

Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart is unable to supply enough oxygenated blood to meet the demands of the body.

“Previous studies have consistently found an association between low levels of physical activity, high BMI, and overall risk of heart failure,” said Jarett Berry, associate professor at UT Southwestern Medical Centre in the US.

“This study shows that the association is more pronounced for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the type of heart failure that is the most challenging to treat,” said Berry.

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In heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the heart stiffens. Instead of being soft, it’s rigid and it resists expansion.

The difference between the two types of heart failure is that in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the heart does not relax enough, while in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction the heart doesn’t squeeze enough, researchers said.

Many treatments have been developed for treating the latter but there are no evidence-based treatments for the former.

“The five-year survival rate among heart failure with preserved ejection fraction patients is around 30 to 40 per cent,” said Ambarish Pandey, a cardiology fellow in Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Centre.

“While heart failure with reduced ejection fraction survival has improved significantly over the years, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction prognosis is little changed,” said Pandey.

Researchers looked at data from about 51,000 participants. Among them, 3,180 individuals who developed heart failure.

Of these, 39 per cent were heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, 29 per cent were heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, and 32 per cent had not been classified when the data was gathered.

The incidence of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction was 19 per cent lower for individuals who exercised at recommended levels.

Similarly, body mass index (BMI) had an inverse relationship with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

Higher BMI levels were more strongly associated with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction than with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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