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Simple Questionnaire May Help Predict Heart Failure


Heart disease is one of the top killers in the United States, and it causes many different conditions that are painful and dangerous. Over five million people have heart failure, a condition in which the heart simply cannot supply enough blood and oxygen throughout the body to other organs. Unfortunately, about half of these people die within five years of their diagnosis. Current medical treatments for heart failure include daily physical activity, medications, and a low-salt diet.

A new study believes that patients suffering from heart failure who struggle with simple tasks like dressing themselves or bathing are more at risk to be hospitalized or even death compared to patients who have more independence. The study looked at over 1,000 people who have heart failure, with the average age being about 75. The participants filled out surveys regarding their abilities to perform different daily functions, including feeding themselves, housekeeping, and bathing.

Each task on the list signified a different difficulty level. Participants who expressed difficulty bathing or housekeeping on their own were considered to have “moderate difficulty.” If a participant struggled with tasks like using the restroom or eating, they were classified as having “severe difficulty.” Around 25 percent of the participants were considered to have moderate difficulty and 13 percent had severe.

Three years after the initial surveys, more than half of the participants had died and over 900 had been hospitalized at least once. Adjusted for other pre-existing conditions, the researchers found participants with moderate difficult were 50 percent more likely to die, and those with severe difficulty were over twice as likely to die during the study period. These two groups of patients were also more likely to be hospitalized for heart-related problems compared to patients with no difficulty being independent.

It is hoped that these results will lead to doctors incorporating a similar survey during their routine exams, especially for people at risk of heart failure. If caught early, it is hoped that the warning signs could lead to a more aggressive treatment plan. These results could prevent some of the 5 million deaths each year from heart failure, but more research will need to be completed before any definite answers are found.

Chiropractic care may also help your heart health in ways that you may not know of. Misalignments in the spine and joints can have a drastic effect on everything from blood flow to muscle strength. Seeking regular chiropractic care may help you to reduce your risk of heart attack or heart failure, as well as keeping the rest of the body in check. Stop into The Joint today; with no appointments necessary, our qualified staff and doctors can assist you immediately, and get your health back on track in no time.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Patrick J. Lynch

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