Continuing Medical Education

Heart failure in sub-Saharan Africa: A clinical approach

Sarah Kraus, Gboyega Ogunbanjo, Karen Sliwa, Ntobeko A B Ntusi

Abstract


Despite medical advances, heart failure (HF) remains a global health problem and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is no exception, with
decompensated HF being the most common primary diagnosis for patients admitted to hospital with heart disease. In SSA the in-hospital
mortality rate of decompensated HF is up to 8.3%. HF is a clinical syndrome that is caused by a diverse group of aetiologies, each requiring
unique management strategies, highlighting the need for diagnostic certainty and a broad understanding of the complex pathophysiology of
this condition. While there are a number of advanced medical, device and surgical interventions being tailored for HF internationally, the
fundamental basic principles of HF management, such as patient education, effective management of congestion and initiation of diseasemodifying
medical therapies, remain a challenge on our continent. This review addresses both the epidemiology of HF in SSA and principles
of management that focus specifically on symptom relief, prevention of hospitalisation and improving survival in this population.


Authors' affiliations

Sarah Kraus, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Gboyega Ogunbanjo, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa

Karen Sliwa, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

Ntobeko A B Ntusi, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (303KB)

Keywords

Heart failure

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(1):23-31. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i1.10325

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-11-10
Date published: 2015-11-26

Article Views

Abstract views: 4244
Full text views: 2376

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here