Hope for people with heart failure

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Over six million American adults suffer from some form of heart failure. Even though the number has been increasing, there are signs that better therapies and systems for treating the condition appears to have helped to keep death rates from increasing.

With heart disease, the heart has a hard time keeping up with supplying enough blood and oxygen to the cells of the body, which in turn causes fatigue and shortness of breath. Weaken muscles in the heart can not pump enough blood to keep up with the body’s requirements.

Now, even heart patients with weakened heart muscles are finding relief and seeing improved heart function with the proper use of heart failure medication and devices.

“Even for our patients with advanced disease, there are so many more options now available to us,” said Clyde Yancy, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association and chief of the Division of Cardiology and the Magerstadt Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “The use of mechanical support such as artificial heart pumping devices, has become remarkable. We can sustain patients long enough to not only allow for heart transplantation but also to serve as definitive therapy and even more provocatively to support recovery of heart muscle function even when seemingly dramatic changes have taken place.”

Source: American Heart Association; Heart patients have new hope


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