Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Disease Living With

Receive follow-up care

It is important to get routine medical care and take all medicines regularly, as prescribed, as part of your treatment plan:

  • Follow your healthcare provider’s directions, and do not change the amount of your medicine or skip a dose unless your provider tells you to.
  • Talk to your provider about how often to schedule office visits and blood tests.
  • Call your provider if you have any new symptoms, if your symptoms worsen, or if you have problems with your blood pressure or blood sugar.

Cardiac rehabilitation

You may be referred for exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation to manage symptoms and reduce the chances of future problems such as heart attack. Studies have shown that cardiac rehabilitation lowers the risk of hospitalization and death. It can also improve your quality of life.

Prevent serious problems over your lifetime

Your healthcare provider will work with you to manage medical conditions that can raise your risk of heart problems and complications:

There are benefits to quitting smoking no matter how long or how much you have smoked. Coronary heart disease risk linked to smoking begins to decrease soon after you quit, and it generally continues to decrease over time.

Take care of your mental health

Living with heart disease may cause fear, anxiety, depression, and stress. You may worry about having heart problems or making lifestyle changes that are necessary for your health. Talk with your healthcare provider about how you feel, and consider seeking other types of support:

  • Talk to a professional counselor. If you have depression or anxiety, you may also need medicines or other treatments that can improve your quality of life.
  • Join a patient support group. This may help you adjust to living with heart disease. You can find out how other people manage similar symptoms. Your provider may be able to recommend local support groups, or you can check with an area medical center.
  • Seek support from family and friends. Letting your loved ones know how you feel and what they can do to help you can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Make an advanced care plan

If your heart condition or other another serious health problem does not respond to treatments,  palliative care  or  hospice  care may improve your  quality of life  and make you more comfortable. This care plan manages your symptoms to avoid unnecessary tests or treatments and provides support to you and your loved ones. It can also be an important way to let loved ones and care providers know what to do if you are not able to make treatment decisions for yourself.

Learn more about advanced care planning and options

The National Institute on Aging has resources on palliative and hospice care. Understanding these options and when to use them can benefit both people with these conditions and their loved ones.

Learn the warning signs of serious complications and have a plan

Serious problems from coronary heart disease can be life-threatening and may lead to disability:

Heart Smart Basics: What to Know to Keep Yours Healthy fact sheet
Heart Smart Basics: What to Know to Keep Yours Healthy

Learn key heart-related terms and questions to ask your healthcare provider.

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