Dr. Lana Tsao, Associate Medical Director of the Cardiac Transplant Program, and Director of Community Heart
Failure at Massachusetts General Hospital, talked about comorbidities and took questions afterward. The following are the comorbidities discussed:
High Blood Pressure and Coronary Artery Disease
High blood pressure and coronary artery disease are the two most important contributors to heart failure. High blood pressure can cause thickening of the heart muscle and thickening of the blood vessel.
It is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular death, stroke, and heart failure.
Controlling blood pressure can help prevent a patient from developing heart failure.
The prevalence of diabetes in heart failure patients is 20 to 50 percent.
Diabetes and heart failure each increase the risk of getting the other.
Sleep apnea is also called sleep disorder breathing. Obstructive apnea it the obstruction of the airway.
Patients with heart failure can develop apnea because fluid moves into their neck when they lay down.
Obesity contributes to development of heart failure, but it can also cause sleep apnea, and lead to diabetes.
A-fib frequently exists with heart failure, but each can cause the other.
Other comorbidities with heart failure can also contribute to developing a-fib.
There are multiple causes of anemia. Iron delivered intravenously IV iron (not orally) has been found to improve how patients feel.
High cholesterol is indirectly a comorbidity as it promotes the development coronary disease. Its direct impact on heart failure is unknown.
Managing comobidities are key in treating heart failure and lengthening life. Lifestyle changes and improving physical conditioning are important in managing heart failure.
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