What is diastolic heart failure?
Diastolic heart failure or HFPEF (Heart Failure With Preserved Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction) is one of the most common types of heart failure.
The disease is characterized by impaired functionality of the left ventricle during diastole. This is the medical term of the phase of the cardiac cycle when the heart relaxes and gets filled with blood. Due to increased stiffness of the heart muscle, the filling of the left ventricle is reduced. This is causing symptoms like breathlessness, coughing and rapid breathing.
The condition occurs most frequently among women and with increasing age, but hypertension, diabetes, obesity and inactivity are well-known risk factors as well. While the prevalence of other cardiovascular diseases has reversed during the last decades due to better treatment, diastolic heart failure is actually the only disease where the prevalence is increasing. The fact that people get older is one possible explaination, and it is estimated that around 10-20 % of older people are affected.
Despite several attempts, no medical treatment has been found to be effective in diastolic heart failure. The purpose of the OptimEx study is therefore to find out whether exercise can be a medicine - here you can read more about why we believe so.
Do you want to know more about diastolic heart failure? More detailed information can be found here!