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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:01

A proactive approach to heart failure

Written by  Dr. Susan Joseph

Heart failure has reached epidemic proportions, and it's not slowing down. From now until 2030, U.S. cases of heart failure will surge 45 percent.

That's alarming. The condition, wherein the heart becomes too weak to effectively pump blood, afflicts millions of adults and costs billions of dollars to treat each year.

Worse, our healthcare system sets patients with heart failure up to, well, fail. We don't tend to intervene until a patient has already developed symptoms, when it may be too late to prevent a trip to the hospital.

We must change the way we think about and treat heart failure. Fortunately, new technology can monitor at-risk patients around the clock. That enables doctors to anticipate heart problems early and adjust treatments before a health crisis occurs. Deploying that technology more widely would improve countless lives -- and save money.

Over 6 million Americans suffer from heart failure. They're severely limited in their daily lives -- often fatigued and short of breath. They may retain fluid, be unable to exercise, or have an abnormal heart beat.

Frequent trips to the hospital are common. One-quarter of patients are readmitted within a month after their first visit. Half go back within 6 months.

Heart failure is costly, too.

Read more at The Washington Examiner

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