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Brits lack heart failure awareness

12 May 2014 08:48

The vast majority of people cannot identify the common symptoms of heart failure

The vast majority of people cannot identify the common symptoms of heart failure

Most people are unable to identify the common symptoms of heart failure, according to new research.

The survey, sponsored by pharmaceutical company Novartis, reveals that only 5% of Britons could spot three common signs of the potentially fatal condition.

Perhaps more worrying is the fact that 85% of those polled thought the symptoms were just a normal sign of ageing.

A total of 1,000 people aged 50 and over took part in the study.

In light of the findings, The Pumping Marvellous Foundation is calling more to be done to raise awareness of heart failure, which usually occurs because the heart muscle has become too weak or stiff to work properly.

The heart is therefore unable to pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure.

Breathlessness, extreme tiredness and ankle swelling are the main symptoms that health official recommend keeping an eye out for.

Over 750,000 people in the UK suffer from heart failure. It can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in older individuals.

Nick Hartshorne Evans, founder of The Pumping Marvellous Foundation, described it as "worrying" that so many people cannot identify the common symptoms.

He wants to see more done to improve the public's knowledge on the subject, especially as the number of sufferers is on the rise.

Factors including more people surviving heart attacks, undetected prolonged hypertension, late presentation of cardiac conditions as well as poor lifestyle choices and an ageing population are all contributing to the growing total.

Early identification and access to heart failure services can improve the outcomes for individuals living with heart failure.

This makes it possible for them to carry on enjoying the finer things in life, such as holidaying abroad. However, sufferers need to make sure they are fully aware of the condition and book relevant travel insurance in order to keep themselves safe on their travels.