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This involvement with state and national guidelines has aligned the program with expectations put in place by the American Cardiology Association. Managed Disease ProcessCHF can be a well-managed disease if it is detected and treated. An individual can manage the disease with lifestyle modifications and pharmacological agents. The patient may exhibit symptoms including shortness of breath with activity, a persistent cough, unexplained weight gain, and fatigue. Although these symptoms are interruptive, modifications such as taking breaks, spacing out activity, healthy diet, and medication adherence will keep them tolerable.
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE11A physician will prescribe a combination of medication to help the heart work more efficiently, keeping up with your body’s demands. This combination will include ACEIs, ARBs, beta-blockers, anticoagulants, diuretics, statins, digitalis, vasodilators, andcalcium channel blockers. Several of these prescribed medications will be taken daily to keep your pump working more effectively. A pill box can keep these medications organized, the right dose and right timing is imperative to prevent advancement. An individual that manages the disease well will have a regular visits to the cardiologist every three months. Dietary changes will involve a reduction of weight if your BMI is elevated. A reduction of sodium and free water intake will help with symptom management and edema. Even a moderate weight loss can have a significant impact of your CHF management. Light, low impact activity such as walking will be beneficial. Lastly, a well-managed patient must avoid smoking. The smoke of cigarettes carries carbon monoxide which further reduces oxygenation capabilities. Treatment may include a surgical intervention, such as a pacemaker or artificial pump, in addition to medications and lifestyle changes. Medical advancements have made many cardiac procedures less invasive utilizing interventional radiology. After a brief post-operative rehabilitation, longevity can be improved with these procedures. Thelife expectancy is improving with advancements in medicine, however, the long-term survival rate remains low. According to Warner, “about 50% of CHF patients have an average life expectancy of less than five years. For those with advanced forms of heart failure, nearly 90% die within one year” (Warner, 2008).
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE12DisparitiesManaging CHF in a large metropolitan community, such as Denver, offers more resources and treatment options than those in more rural populations. According to CBS News, Kentucky has the highest rate of heart disease in the nation. In 2010, heart disease accounted form 23% of deaths in the state. With a lower socioeconomic status, ethnic diversity, and poor access to treatment, Kentucky takes a backseat to the rest of the country in managing CHF. This state is 66.5% obese, 29% current smokers, and 8.6% with diagnosed heart disease. With almost 8% of the population being African American, the rate of heart disease in this ethnicity is 20 times that of Caucasians.