Clinical and Demographic Characteristics of Patients Presenting with Heart Failure to a Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana
This was a 6-month prospective descriptive study carried out at the Department of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi, Ghana. The main objective of the study was to determine the socio-demographic characteristics and clinical presentation of patients with heart failure seen at KATH, Kumasi, Ghana. Patients aged thirteen years and above admitted to the medical wards with diagnosis of heart failure were recruited. Detailed history, clinical examination, electrocardiography (ECG), Chest X-ray, echocardiography, haematological and biochemistry tests were done. One hundred and sixty seven (167) patients were studied, 86 males and 81 females. They were aged 13 - 90 years with the mean 51.1 ( 21.1) years. Age group 61-70 years had the highest incidence of heart failure. Majority of the patients presented with biventricular failure (71.9 %; n=120) and the New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class IV (64.2 %; n=107). The commonest presenting complaint was dyspnoea on exertion (95.8 %, n=160), followed by fatigue (94 %, n=157). History of chronic alcohol use was obtained from 43.1 % of the patients. ECG left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) was seen in 66.5 % of the patients. Hypertension and anaemia were seen in 42.5 % and 47 % of the patients respectively. Conclusions: Heart failure occurred almost equally in males and females with the highest incidence in age group 61-70 years. Majority of the patients presented with NYHA functional class IV. The commonest presenting complaint was dyspnoea on exertion, and ECG LVH, hypertension and anaemia were three major conditions seen in the patients.
Heart failure, orthopnoea, hypertension, electrocardiography, LVH, NYHA functional classification
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