A new study looking into the side-effects and consequences of heart failure was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure. The study, which was led by Dr. Jennifer Thibodeau, an assistant professor at the UT Southwestern Medical Center Division of Cardiology, sheds new light onto symptoms and signs that can help patients and their doctors head off future relapses or serious health events.
Specifically, the study, which was conducted on 102 patients with heart failure, states that shortness of breath due to bending is actually a symptom of worsening conditions in people with heart failure.
Congestive heart failure or heart failure is the clinical condition where the heart fails to pump as much blood as needed by the body to perform vital functions, as defined by the US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. According to the American Heart Association, around 5.7 million Americans are affected by heart failure every year, with 10% of them having advanced conditions.
Normally, when one experiences shortage of breath due to bending or any physical exercise, it is assumed to be due to weight and fitness issues. But what really happens in patients with heart failure is that fluids get retained in the body due to defective pumping functions of the heart. Hence, any kind of movement adds more stress and increases pressure, adding to that which is already there, due to fluid retention. This condition was denoted as “bendopnea” by Dr. Thibodeau and her team.
Dr. Thibodeau added, “Bendopnea is not a risk factor for heart failure, but rather a sign that heart failure is becoming more serious and patients might require changes to their medications or treatments.”
Often referred to as a “silent killer,” heart disease is often marked not by the rise of obvious symptoms, but rather sudden, unexpected, and catastrophic events. The discovery of Bendopnea is an important revelation in treating and monitoring those prone to heart failure, as it constitutes a measurable and obvious symptom that physicians can react to accordingly.