Unusual shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, edema of the feet and ankles, excessive fatigue… are all symptoms of this disease which affects at least 1.5 million French people.
Heart failure, which affects at least 1.5 million French people and continues to progress, is not well enough known, according to Health Insurance, which announced Tuesday, September 20 the launch of an awareness campaign on this chronic disease and its warning signs. At the origin of a “deterioration in quality of life, repeated hospitalizations, death”heart failure is “fraught with consequences”underlines the National Health Insurance Fund (Cnam) in a press release.
However, the number of people concerned, currently “underestimated because patients are slow to be diagnosed”should “progress by 25% every four years”, she notes. Against a background of improving life expectancy, heart failure increases with age, affecting 10% of seniors aged 70 and over. If this disease mainly affects people over the age of 60, “its incidence increases before the age of 55, as in other European countries, due to lifestyle habits that are harmful to health (smoking, sedentary lifestyle, diet)”also notes the Cnam.
Improve knowledge of warning signs
Deeming this pathology too poorly known, especially among seniors, the Health Insurance will launch a national awareness campaign on September 25, under the slogan “Heart Failure: What If Your Heart Was Trying to Tell You Something?”, she says. As World Heart Day approaches on September 29, this campaign will be rolled out to the general public in the press, radio, television or on social networks in order to“improve knowledge of heart failure, warning signs and thus promote early diagnosis, by encouraging patients to talk about it with their doctor”.
“Unusual shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, edema of the feet and ankles, excessive fatigue”… In isolation, these symptoms are not “not specific to the disease but their association or their recent occurrence should suggest heart failure”, underlines the Health Insurance. They are to be monitored especially after 60 years, especially for people already diagnosed given the risk of“worsening of the disease which may lead to decompensation, even hospitalization”. Health professionals (doctors and paramedics) will also be made aware by Health Insurance via their specific information channels.
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