South Asia (SA) is both the most populous and the most densely populated geographical region in the world. The countries in this region are undergoing epidemiological transition and are facing the double burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases.
Heart failure (HF) is a major and increasing burden all over the world. In this review, we discuss the epidemiology of HF in SA today and its impact in the health system of the countries in the region. There are no reliable estimates of incidence and prevalence of HF (heart failure) from this region.
The prevalence of HF which is predominantly a disease of the elderly is likely to rise in this region due to the growing age of the population. Patients admitted with HF in the SA region are relatively younger than their western counterparts. The etiology of HF in this region is also different from the western world. Untreated congenital heart disease and rheumatic heart disease still contribute significantly to the burden of HF in this region. Due to epidemiological transition, the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity and smoking is on the rise in this region. This is likely to escalate the prevalence of HF in South Asia.
We also discuss potential developments in the field of HF management likely to occur in the nations in South Asia. Finally, we discuss the interventions for prevention of HF in this region.
Keywords: Heart failure, South Asia, India, epidemiology, aetiology, prevention, heart failure clinics.
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