Hearty News: Early Diagnosis and Aggressive Treatment Saves Lives

| Jan 1, 1998

Chronic hypertension and heart attacks, both of which are more common in the diabetic population, damage and subsequently weaken the heart muscle and often lead to heart failure.

Roughly half of all heart failure patients die within five years of diagnosis, but these losses could be reduced. According to a report in the October 1997 issue of Consumer Reports on Health, timely diagnosis and newer aggressive treatment methods at all stages of the condition could prevent almost half of these deaths. A lack of proper diagnostic tests, medication and exercise are all implicated in the report as contributing to the unnecessarily high mortality rate.

The first problem noted is that some physicians do not perform echocardiogram or radionuclide ventriculogram tests. Both tests measure the heart's pumping capacity and can identify early heart failure when the outward symptoms aren't clear.

Once heart failure is diagnosed, many physicians fail to prescribe ACE inhibitors that allow the heart to pump more effectively by dilating the blood vessels. ACE inhibitors like enalapril (Vasotec) and captopril (Capoten) can reduce mortality from heart failure by 16 to 36 percent.

Finally, physicians often shy away from telling patients to exercise for fear that it could worsen the condition or overwhelm a weak heart. However, the report claims that moderate aerobic exercise (like walking) can reduce the shortness of breath and fatigue many heart failure patients experience that limits their overall physical activity.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Heart Care & Heart Disease

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 0 comments - Jan 1, 1998

©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.