A 64-year-old white female with a long history of poorly treated hypertension was diagnosed by your preceptor with congestive heart failure (CHF) at her last visit when she presented with shortness of breath and lower extremity edema. She was treated with a diuretic and started on an ACE inhibitor and now is clinically well compensated and without edema. Her EKG shows LVH and strain. Her echocardiogram shows an ejection fraction of 35% and left ventricular hypertrophy. The patient is otherwise in good health without any other known chronic conditions. She is a lifelong non-smoker with a cholesterol/HDL ratio of 2.3 (low risk for heart disease). Her only other medication is Prempro (a combination estrogen/progesterone product).
The patient has heard that CHF is a serious disease, and asks what the future is likely to hold for her. Specifically she asks how likely she is to die from this condition in the near future.
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Last Updated: October 6, 2010
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