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Coronary Heart Disease (cont.)

Should I follow-up with my doctor after being diagnosed with heart disease?

Regular follow-up visits with your health-care professional are essential. Coronary heart disease is a chronic (long-term, ongoing), relentlessly progressive disease.

  • Reducing risk factors may only slow its pace.
  • Even angioplasty or bypass surgery only reduces the severity of the symptoms. It does not cure the disease.
  • It often comes back and gets worse, requiring further treatment for people with previous heart attacks or bypass, especially if the patient has not corrected the abnormal risk factors.

Your health-care professional will usually monitor you for the following conditions:

  • New symptoms or signs of disease progression (periodic physical exams and ECGs or stress tests)
  • Silent ischemia (periodic treadmill or radionuclide stress tests or stress echocardiography)

Your health-care professional will also monitor your progress in risk reduction and how well treatment is working. Keep track of your own numbers. This is your life.

  • Checking weight and activity levels
  • Checking blood lipid levels, including the bad LDL, the good HDL, and triglycerides, another fat frequently elevated in overweight patients, especially if diabetic - LDL should be less than 100
  • Checking blood pressure, which should be less than 130/80 mm Hg
  • If diabetic, checking blood sugar and A1C (should be less than 7.0%)
  • Checking progress with quitting smoking

He or she will monitor how well your medications, making adjustments as necessary. Side effects of medications will also be monitored and treated if necessary.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/25/2016
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