Heart failure: Epidemiollogy and prevention in India

Mark D. Huffman, Dorairaj Prabhakaran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Reliable estimates of heart failure are lacking in India because of the absence of a surveillance programme to track incidence, prevalence, outcomes and key causes of heart failure. Nevertheless, we propose that the incidence and prevalence rates of heart failure are rising due to population, epidemiological and health transitions. Based on disease-specific estimates of prevalence and incidence rates of heart failure, we conservatively estimate the prevalence of heart failure in India due to coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and rheumatic heart disease to range from 1.3 to 4.6 million, with an annual incidence of 491 600-1.8 million. The double burden of rising cardiovascular risk factors and persistent 'pretransition' diseases such as rheumatic heart disease, limited healthcare infrastructure and social disparities contribute to these estimates. Staging of heart failure, introduced in 2005, provides a framework to target preventive strategies in patients at risk for heart failure (stage A), with structural disease alone (B), with heart failure symptoms (C) and with end-stage disease (D). Policy-level interventions, such as regulations to limit salt and tobacco consumption, are effective for primordial prevention and would have a wider impact on prevention of heart failure. Clinical preventive interventions and clinical quality improvement interventions, such as treatment of hypertension, atherosclerotic disease, diabetes and acute decompensated heart failure are effective for primary, secondary and even tertiary prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalNational Medical Journal of India
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Heart failure: Epidemiollogy and prevention in India'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this