Heart failure is a silent and growing health problem in Asia Pacific. About half of cardiovascular patients are in Asia and heart failure is a major cause for such patients’ hospitalization, said experts ahead of the fall of World Heart Day.
There are over 8.9 million people with heart failure in China, whose incidence for people over 35 years old is 1.3 percent. The average age of disease onset is between 65 and 67 years old.
Apart from the public’s low awareness, the major concern that doctors face today is diagnosing heart failure based on symptoms alone. Heart failure patients can be misdiagnosed resulting in adverse consequences, such as inappropriate care or treatment, which adds burden for patients and costs to healthcare systems.
The high hospitalization rate, heavy medical and social burdens and impact to patients’ life quality call for precise diagnosis, timely intervention and proper treatment.
Advanced diagnostics and aggregated healthcare data support clinicians in making the right diagnosis at the right time, and can help healthcare systems around the world manage their resources more effectively and patients also can receive accurate and effective treatment in time.
Recently, the STRONG-HF study, a multinational clinical trial, published in the Lancet including Roche Elecsys NT-proBNP biomarker as an integral part of the treatment strategy, comprising rapid up-titration and close follow up after an acute heart failure admission. The study primary outcomes showed significant reduction of all cause death or acute heart failure readmissions at day 180. Rapid, simultaneous up-titration of therapies, and close follow-up through NT-proBNP, led to increased patient quality of life. This is a significant milestone in heart failure disease management, which once again demonstrates the immense value of diagnostics.
Experts said precise diagnosis is the key for heart failure treatment, which can help at least 30 percent patients recover through timely and appropriate diagnostics and treatment. Heart failure treatment is a reversible process through close NT-proBNP monitoring, regular drug use and effective disease management.
The guideline for heart disease treatment in China has clarified that patients with chronic heart failure needs two to three months of follow-up check and adjusted medication. To patients with stable heart failure, it has recommended that three to six months of follow-up check is necessary after the disease is under control. In addition to basic blood tests and ultrasound examinations, it is also necessary to include NT-proBNP biomarker as monitoring. Prevention of heart failure stems from the control of hypertension and diabetes and regular testing of NT-proBNP. Patients with heart disease should also be aware of drug with cardiotoxicity to reduce the risk of heart failure.