Living With Heart Disease

From an interview with
Dr. John Patton
McLeod Cardiology Associates – Florence

High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease and congestive heart failure (CHF). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of people in the United States (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors. In fact, one person dies every 33 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 695,000 people in the United States died from heart disease in 2021—that’s 1 in every 5 deaths.

Monitoring symptoms and follow-up care are important for someone with heart disease or CHF. McLeod Cardiologist Dr. John Patton encourages patients to be proactive about their health by getting routine medical care and taking all medicines regularly, as prescribed, as part of a personalized treatment plan.

“If you are living with heart disease or congestive heart failure (CHF), it is important you are aware of any changes in your health. Write them down when you notice them, do you feel shortness of breath? Are your hands and feet swollen? Do you have a cough? Be sure and let your physician know if you notice any of these new symptoms.

To live successfully with heart disease or CHF, cardiac patients should :

  • Check your blood pressure daily and keep a record to share with your physician.
  • Weigh yourself every morning. A sudden weight gain can be a sign that you are retaining fluid.
  • Keep up your regularly scheduled appointments with your physicians. Let them know if the way you normally feel has made any changes.
  • Make a list of questions you want to ask, and if something isn’t clear, ask for an explanation.
  • Come prepared to make the most of your visit for the betterment of your heart health.

The American Heart Association suggests that honesty is the key to a positive patient/doctor relationship. While it can be intimidating to share the details of your family medical history, eating habits and exercise routine (or lack thereof), all of this information is vital to the overall picture that your cardiologist needs.

To learn more, speak with a cardiologist near you.