Wales

More than 30,000 in Wales with heart failure, figures show

Stethoscope in heart shape Image copyright Thinkstock

Wales has the highest prevalence of heart failure in the UK, latest figures have shown.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said more than 30,000 people in Wales have been diagnosed.

Nearly a third of patients admitted to hospital could die within 12 months, the BHF said.

Heart failure is most commonly caused by a heart attack which causes irreparable damage, and the charity said more research is urgently needed.

More than 500,000 people have been diagnosed with heart failure across the UK - and 75,000 were under 65, the BHF said. The only hope for some with severe heart failure is a transplant.

Dawn's story

Dawn Bell, 46, from Llansamlet near Swansea, had open heart surgery as a child and was diagnosed with heart failure at 33, and had a cardiac arrest in her sleep two years ago.

She said: "My husband thought I was dead and told my two teenage daughters 'mums gone'. Thankfully, I was resuscitated and given a second chance of life.

"Every morning I wake up, it's a blessing knowing that I am alive. But I know there is no cure for heart failure. Through medical research I'd like to think that that cure is not far away so that it brings an end to the suffering that it causes for so many people."

BHF Cymru has recently been given more than £1m to fund research at Cardiff University to investigate how defects in heart muscle cells can lead to abnormal heart rhythms.

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