Congestive heart disease affects approximately five million Americans, and some medical professionals believe that within five years time approximately half of those people will unfortunately die from their condition. Congestive heart disease is marked by the heart's inability to pump efficiently enough to supply the body with freshly oxygenated blood. It is the leading cause of hospitalization among senior citizens and accounted for nearly 20% of the hospitalization of this age group in 2003.
Since congestive heart disease is a condition that warrants attention, a brief discussion of some of the risk factors might be in order. While some of these factors cannot be helped, there are many things a person can change about their lives to reduce the risk.
Risk Factors That Cannot be Helped
There are a number of risk factors for congestive heart disease that simply can't be helped. One such factor is a previous heart attack, and advanced age, specifically over the age of 65, is another common factor for this condition. Another, of course, is a history of diabetes. Both these factors, although treatable cannot be reversed, and if you have had one of these medical conditions, there is a distinct possibility that congestive heart disease might be a condition to watch out for.
Another risk factor that cannot be changed when dealing with congestive heart disease is having a genetic disposition to the disease. Genetic testing and knowledge of the complete family history can go a long way in indicating whether or not congestive heart disease is something that should be a concern for you.
Risk Factors the Can Be Changed
While some factors that indicate the potential for congestive heart disease cannot be helped, there are a number that can. These factors include such things as chronic high blood pressure, drug or alcohol abuse, thyroid disease, and even heart valve disease. All these risk factors, especially drug and alcohol abuse can be managed with help from your medical professional or friendly neighborhood physician. The best course of action is talk to your doctor to design a plan to attack congestive heart disease and hopefully stop it from affecting your life.
Unfortunately, congestive heart disease is difficult to diagnose because it often occurs as a result of or in conjunction with other forms of heart disease. Perhaps the best hope for patients with this disease is to catch it early and begin treatment as soon as possible.