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Lower levels of education are associated with increased risks of heart failure
Date:12/8/2010

Results from a large European study suggest that poorly educated people are more likely to be admitted to hospital with chronic heart failure than the better educated, even after differences in lifestyle have been taken into account. The study is published online today (Thursday 9 December) in the European Heart Journal [1].

Researchers followed 18,616 people for as long as 31 years (range 0-31 years, average follow-up was 21 years) between 1976 and 2007 and found that better educated men and women had nearly half the risk of hospital admission for heart failure than the least well educated.

"This is the largest and most comprehensive study so far to examine the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the risk of developing heart failure," said Dr Eva Prescott, Professor of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation at Bispebjerg University Hospital (Copenhagen, Denmark), who led the study. "Although it is well known that socioeconomic deprivation is associated with coronary heart disease, much less is known about the link with the development of chronic heart failure. The two diseases share some common risk factors, but it is estimated that less than half of chronic heart failure cases are caused by coronary heart disease. In addition, chronic heart failure is becoming increasingly common."

Heart failure is defined as the inability of one or both sides of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs, while coronary heart disease is a condition caused by a narrowing of the arteries, which leads to the blood flow to the heart slowing down or stopping.

Doctors carried out physical examinations of all the study participants at the time they joined the study and at regular intervals afterwards to check for diabetes, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood glucose levels etc. They also used a questionnaire to assess risk factors that could play a role in the development of heart failure and heart di
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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