The topic of heart failure in the heart week

Nationwide Heart Week provides information and campaigns about heart failure

The main topic of this year's Herzwoche was a disease that patients can develop at a young age: heart failure. Doctors speak of heart failure - according to the medical term - when the pumping capacity drops and the heart no longer beats as in a healthy state. Affected people often do not notice the disease for a long time. Signs include a drop in physical performance such as climbing stairs or doing sports. Many clinics are currently providing information about heart disease. The cardiology department of the Sankt-Antonius-Krankenhaus also participates with an information event in the Klever Stadthalle.

Poor pump performance and a loss of elasticity are usually the cause of heart failure. This beats 114,000 times a day with a pump output of 17,000 liters of blood. "In the case of heart failure, the heart can no longer achieve this performance," explains Professor Stefan Schuster, chief physician at Klever Cardiology at the Sankt Antonius Hospital. As the cardiologist further reports, heart failure is essentially due to two causes. With a “pumping weakness”, the heart no longer has enough strength to pump the blood into the organs. “Loss of elasticity” means “too little blood arrives in the heart and, accordingly, too little blood leaves the heart,” says Schuster.

Risk factors for heart failure include lack of exercise, unhealthy eating, nicotine consumption, high blood pressure and diabetes. “Unfortunately, heart failure is still misinterpreted by patients. A drop in performance, for example when climbing stairs, is an indication, but also shortness of breath or swollen legs. Anyone who notices these symptoms should go to the family doctor and get an examination, ”advises the doctor.

Preventing heart failure with a healthy lifestyle One of the healthy dietary concepts that are particularly suitable for heart patients is the Mediterranean diet. This is the conclusion reached by a research team led by Demosthenes Panagiotakos from Harokopio University in Athens as part of a comprehensive meta study in 2011. Much Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, low-fat dairy products, little lean meat and fish, accompanied by a little olive oil, therefore have a positive effect on the so-called metabolic syndrome, which is considered to be the main risk factor for coronary heart diseases.

Call a doctor if you suspect a heart attack. However, heart failure occurs as a result of an infection in around 20 percent of patients. A severe cold or flu can ignite the heart muscle and cause lasting damage. Young people are often affected. "But that happens unnoticed. It doesn't hurt. Patients who cannot get it right three weeks after the infection should be examined, ”explains Schuster.

In general, the following applies: "The earlier the patients come to us, the better we can help." Thus, if a heart attack is suspected, every minute counts and can make a difference between life and death. “Unfortunately, it is still the case that patients are with us far too late. In the case of a heart attack, it is important to prevent scarring on the heart muscle as much as possible. In the case of typical symptoms such as pain in the left arm, upper abdomen, in the chest area, in the event of panic due to the severe chest pain, select 112 immediately, even at weekends and at night. And also request an emergency doctor directly, ”advises the cardiologist. Many patients would just wait too long. "And then we can't do much more."

Klever Hospital organizes an information evening on the subject of heart failure
This year, 369 patients in the Klever hospital have been treated with the initial diagnosis and 1,030 with the secondary diagnosis "cardiac insufficiency". "And there are more and more," reports Schuster.

An information event under the direction of Schuster in the Klever Stadthalle is planned for Wednesday, November 27, from 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cardiologist will report on "Diagnosing and Treating Heart Failure". Senior physician Birgit Heitzer gives a lecture on "cause and examination procedure". Those affected and interested can take part in the subsequent discussion and ask questions. (ag)

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Video: What is heart failure?

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