Sree Chitra institute commences study on cardiac failure

Under the aegis of CARE, a study is being conducted on the micro-economic and psychosocial impact of heart failure
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology .
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology .

KOCHI: The Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in Thiruvananthapuram has commenced a study on the micro-economic and psychosocial impact of heart failure (HF) among people belonging to different economic strata.

The study is being conducted under the aegis of the Centre for Advanced Research and Excellence (CARE) in HF. It was in last September that the Indian Council for Medical Research selected SCTIMST as CARE in HF after considering its interventions in the field of heart diseases in India. 

“Last time we conducted such a study was in 2010. Since then, much has changed,” said Dr Harikrishnan S, Professor of Cardiology at SCTIMST. He added, “The introduction of generic medicines, Jan Aushadhi generic drug outlets and health insurance schemes like Ayushman Bharat and Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi might have triggered significant change in the micro-economic and psychosocial aspects of people.” 

The interesting aspect of this study will be to explore the continuity of treatment of those affected by HF. Also, it will be worth examining the importance that patient gives for follow-up like taking the right dose of medicines at the right time, regular check-up and controlling the risk factors, and options available for follow-up care at the health system. 

“In the previous study, we found that 11 per cent of the patients don’t take medicines following their heart attack. Affordability was the reason. Also, the patients had to bear a significant burden of out-of-pocket payments following hospitalisation. But as mentioned earlier, the health insurance schemes and generic medicines might have made a difference to this scenario,” said Harikrishnan. 

According to him, the assurance of follow-up care involves availability, affordability and accessibility to healthcare options that include medicines and infrastructural facilities. 

At the same time, a study report presented by Harikrishnan, recently at the Sixth World Congress on Acute Heart Failure conducted by European Society of Cardiologists in Athens, found that there was a higher five-year mortality rate among the young HF patients in India. Of the 1,205 patients who get enrolled from hospitals in the urban area of Thiruvananthapuram and hospitals at Athiyannoor Block, 709 deaths were reported. 

“The enrolment process was carried out in 2012-13. The analysis of data showed that the cumulative five-­year mortality stood at 58.8 per cent, that is 709 deaths. It was found that almost half of the patients experienced at least one re­-admission over the five-­year follow­up period. Higher mortality was reported among this group,” said Harikrishnan. 

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