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Congestive Heart Failure Primer

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Lions don't need to spank
Nov 8, 2005
Banned from facebook,
A friend of mine has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and is not sure how to go about living with such a disease. We have talked and perhaps thought the good people of this Forum may be able to suggest some help and tips or inspirational stories. I do not have Congestive Heart Failure but my mother-in-law had it for a year before she died of cancer. (Living with two complicated chronic diseases was very difficult for her and she was one of the cases that was hard to manage.)

I have done some research at several different respected agencies that deal with heart disease. One is the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the other is the American Heart Assn, and the third is the Texas Heart Hospital. The following info is from these sources as referenced.
(From CDC)
Get vaccinated!
From http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2015.pdf

Who needs a second dose of PPSV? ( Pneumococcal PolySaccharide Vaccine)
Who needs to be vaccinated with PPSV?
1. Vaccinate all previously unvaccinated adults age 65 years and older.
2. Vaccinate all adults ages 19 years and older who smoke cigarettes.
3. Vaccinate persons ages 2–64 years who • have chronic cardiovascular disease (e.g., congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy), chronic pulmonary disease (e.g., COPD, emphysema, adults with asthma), or diabetes mellitus,

From http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_301639.pdf

The above link from the American Heart Assn leads to a page that describes controls for heart disease, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) including congestive heart failure. Improved treatment of people with these chronic diseases and improved diagnosis of new patients who are unaware they have the disease are the keys to longer life, better quality of life, and less cost of patient treatment. Some of the advances are listed below:

1. Getting early diagnosis and correct treatment (the following may add 10 yrs to your life).
2. Not smoking.
3. Controlling blood sugar.
4. Controlling blood pressure - One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure. About 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% who have a first stroke, and 74% with congestive heart failure have blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg. If you do not have a blood pressure monitor, buy one. People with large arms do better using the wrist type of automatic monitor (or check with your doctor).

5. Controlling cholesterol – if your cholesterol is of 200 mg/dLor higher. A 10% decrease in these levels may result in about a 30% cut in the incidence of coronary heart disease. There are good cholesterol lowering drugs on the market. Some of these drugs qualify for the $4 a month generic prescription rate. Diet modification is also useful in lowering cholesterol. A goal is to lower your LDL cholesterol. If you haven’t had your cholesterol checked, ask your doctor to do so.

6. Self education - Only 27% of respondents in a 2005 study knew heart attack signs and symptoms and would call 9-1-1 first if someone was having a heart attack or stroke. Women may have different heart attack symptoms than men.

7. Proper emergency care - Less than 5% of those eligible for tPA - the only emergency treatment approved by the FDA for the most common type of stroke - receive it. Patients treated with tPA within 3 hours of onset of stroke symptoms are 30% more likely to have minimal or no disability at a 3-month followup. (tPA is a clot busting drug for stroke victims).

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