Journal of General Practice Nursing (GPN) | September 2023

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Heart failure: detecting the undetected

Heart failure: detecting the undetected
Long term conditions

Pages: 26 - 28

Article topics: Fatigue, Fighting for breath, Fluid build-up, Heart failure

Heart failure (HF) is a clinical syndrome distinguished by the inadequate pumping of the heart. It represents a prolonged condition that impacts approximately one million individuals in the UK, a figure surpassing the toll of other ailments such as cancers and strokes. Recognising symptoms like fatigue, fluid retention, and breathlessness can often present a challenge, given that patients may be asymptomatic, and these symptoms are not always specific to heart failure. The utilisation of a simple blood test, such as NT-pro BNP, followed by advanced diagnostics like echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, hold pivotal importance for achieving timely diagnosis, implementing targeted therapies, reducing mortality rates, reducing hospital admissions, and decelerating the progression of the disease. Simultaneously, this approach works towards enhancing the quality of life for patients and reducing health inequality gaps. The recent 25in25 summit convened by the British Society for Heart Failure (BSH) brought together stakeholders from other countries to discuss and address HF mortality rates. This resulted in the participants collaboratively formulating and signing a declaration with the aim of reducing HF mortality in the first year after diagnosis by 25% within the next 25 years.

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