Most Read Articles
01 Mar 2016
The present understanding on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of rheumatic heart disease were discussed in a review.
05 Jun 2015
Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease continue to cause serious problems and hospitalisations according to a study in Zimbabwe.
03 Jun 2017
Both high and low values of the atherogenic index of plasma are independently associated with all-cause mortality, a new study reveals.
01 Oct 2015
The earliest evidence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in children increases the risk of acute rheumatic heart disease, valvular lesion progression and definite RHD development as stated in a prospective cohort study.

Lack of symptoms awareness delays heart failure diagnosis

14 Mar 2017
New heart failure drug shows promise

Patients with heart failure tend to normalise the symptoms they experience, which results in delayed presentation for primary care, a new study shows.

A total of 16 patients (median age 78.5 years; 11 men) who were recently diagnosed with heart failure were included in the study. Each participant was subjected to semi-structured interviews until there were no more new themes of answers.

Interviews involved asking the participants to narrate their experiences from the first they noticed the manifestation of symptoms up to the point of diagnosis. The framework method was used to analyse the interviews.

Only one interview was conducted over the phone; the rest were conducted personally at the participants’ homes. The average duration of the interviews was 42 minutes.

Shortness of breath was the most common symptom and was often thought of as a normal part of ageing. On the other hand, some participants also reported attributing their breathlessness to other comorbidities.

Other symptoms, like lethargy and swollen ankles, were also normalised as being rooted in other causes like being too busy or being outside their usual environments. Participants thus tended to carry on normally despite these symptoms.

Most of the initial symptoms progressed gradually for months. Participants sought professional help if the symptoms interfered with daily activities or if there were sudden events that needed immediate intervention.

Finally, the degree to which participants understood heart failure was variable. Diagnosis resulted in initial anxiety. Over time, patients learned to accept their diagnoses, researchers said.

The study thus shows that better public understanding of heart failure and its symptoms and manifestations may improve early disease recognition.

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Most Read Articles
01 Mar 2016
The present understanding on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of rheumatic heart disease were discussed in a review.
05 Jun 2015
Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease continue to cause serious problems and hospitalisations according to a study in Zimbabwe.
03 Jun 2017
Both high and low values of the atherogenic index of plasma are independently associated with all-cause mortality, a new study reveals.
01 Oct 2015
The earliest evidence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in children increases the risk of acute rheumatic heart disease, valvular lesion progression and definite RHD development as stated in a prospective cohort study.