Half of heart disease patients suffer from multiple diseases

Half of heart disease patients suffer from multiple diseases

In a new study from The University of Western Australia, researchers find that one in two patients with a cardiovascular disease is suffering from more than one chronic health conditions.

In the study, the researchers examined health data in patients aged between 25 and 59 years.

They found that cardiovascular diseases, heart attack and stroke, are responsible for the majority of deaths and disability among Australians, second only to cancer.

The health care costs associated with managing these conditions is substantial.

Moreover, among cardiovascular disease patients, more than one chronic conditions occurred at the same time.

For example, the combinations of mental health issues including alcohol and drug abuse and respiratory conditions to be more prevalent in patients under 40 years.

Metabolic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney diseases were common in those over 40 years.

The team identified the disease combinations in hospitalized cardiovascular disease patients, and they expected these patterns to be reflective of what was present in the community.

The team suggests that this research can show what services are need to be brought together within a one-stop shop to help patients.

The findings can help current treatment guidelines where treatments assessed in drug trials generally focused on one specific condition.

Doctors need to consider these in their clinical practice. Different treatment and secondary prevention strategies are likely to be useful for management in these patient groups.

Rather than providing care in a single disease paradigm, management of cardiovascular diseases needs to be delivered by multidisciplinary teams that focus on the whole patient and all of the relevant conditions they have.

Lead researcher is Dr. Mohammad Akhtar Hussain.

The study is published in PLOS ONE.

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Source: PLOS ONE.