A recent study has revealed a new risk of hospitalization and even death for heart failure patients who reported tiredness and shortness of breath during daily tasks.
More than 1,100 people who suffered heart failure were included in the study, averaging an age of 75. All of them reported either minimal, moderate or severe difficulty during simple daily activities, such as climbing stairs, getting dressed, taking medications, using the bathroom or cleaning the house.
One-fifth of the patients who entered the study were obese, and most of the total number of participants battled other medical conditions, such as anemia (57 percent), diabetes (36 percent), and high blood pressure (87 percent).
Initial reports showed that nearly 60 percent of the patients struggled with some of daily tasks; other 24 percent reported moderate difficulty and almost 13 percent said they were unable to perform any activities without getting tired.
Study author, Dr. Shannon Dunlay, an eminent heart failure cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said that a routine visit to the doctor can diagnose such difficulty with daily living, and the doctor can offer important information about goals of care.
Dr. Dunlay explained that some heart failure patients might need a more thorough assessment for deciding whether or not physical therapy is necessary for improving mobility and easing the patient’s living. The study’s results suggest that mobility assessment should be an integrant part of the routine care given to patients with heart failure.
Researchers found out that the most vulnerable categories of people were older women, people dealing with obesity and those who were unmarried. At the same time, patients with diabetes or anemia experienced more mobility issues and got tired easier. Heart failure patients who also battled dementia tested worse than others in twice as many daily tasks.
Performing three years of follow-up on all the participants in the study, researchers reported that 910 of the heart patients needed to be hospitalized and 614 died. Hospitalization was most commonly cause by heart failure (18 percent), seconded by heart rhythm disorders (almost 5 percent), and pneumonia (4 percent).
In a recent news release, Dr. Dunlay said that it needed to be taken into consideration that many of the heart failure patients who have difficulty performing daily activities also suffer from other chronic conditions. Those illnesses combined with old age can also play an important role in general mobility and easiness of living. Dunlay recommends comprehensive care for all, considering that more than 5 million Americans have heart failure, as the researchers noted.
Image Source: Lifestyles 55
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