From casual conversation to pop culture, the heart is the organ we love to talk about. We reminisce about our high school heartthrobs, center our hearts in yoga class and cry over our last heartbreaks.
The human heart is important -- essential, actually -- but not infallible. Heart failure is the cause for over a million hospital visits in the U.S. annually and an unimaginable $31 billion dollars of health care expenses. It is a chronic, progressively worsening disease with high mortality that affects more than 5.1 million Americans.
Is your heart at risk? Here are five facts about heart failure that you need to know:
1. Heart failure occurs from an overworking heart.
Heart failure occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's demands. Initially, in patients with heart damage from problems such as coronary artery disease, heart attack or chronic high blood pressure, the heart will work harder to provide the body an appropriate blood supply. As the heart becomes overworked, the heart muscle gradually weakens. Over time, the heart will fail to pump appropriately, generating a condition commonly known as heart failure.
2. Identifying heart failure is tricky.
Most people don't discover they have heart failure until after they have experienced a heart attack or stroke. The leading causes of heart failure are diseases that damage the heart.
3. Heart failure is common.
Every 30 seconds, someone in America is hospitalized due to heart failure. In the United States, 550,000 people are diagnosed with this disease each year, and 30 percent of these individuals will pass away within six to 12 months.
Certain groups are at an increased risk. African-Americans are 20 times more likely to have heart failure before the age of 40. People over age 65 are at the greatest susceptibility.
4. There is hope.
New treatments and innovative monitoring tools are now available for people with heart failure. These include the CardioMEMS HF System, a first-of-its-kind remote monitoring device for Class III heart failure patients. The device, developed by St. Jude Medical, creates a monitoring bridge between a patients home and care team by remotely sending vital information to the physician's office on a regular basis.
5. Stay in control.
If at risk for heart failure, manage your health by scheduling a checkup with your physician. If you have heart failure, talk to your physician about your options, including remote monitoring tools like the CardioMEMS HF System.
The human heart has earned a spot in our everyday conversation for a reason. Don't take this organ for granted. Find more information about St. Jude Medical and its commitment to healthy hearts at www.heartfailureanswers.com.
The CardioMEMS HF System is indicated for wirelessly measuring and monitoring pulmonary artery (PA) pressure and heart rate in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III heart failure patients who have been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous year. The hemodynamic data are used by physicians for heart failure management with the goal of reducing heart failure hospitalizations.
The CardioMEMS HF System is contraindicated for patients with an inability to take dual antiplatelet or anticoagulants for one month post-implant.
Potential adverse events associated with the implantation procedure include, but are not limited to, the following: infection, arrhythmias, bleeding, hematoma, thrombus, myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attack, stroke, death, and device embolization. Refer to the user's manual for detailed indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions and potential adverse events.
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