Heart Disease

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Treatments for heart disease depend on the condition and its severity.  Acute conditions, such as a heart attack, require prompt medical intervention to minimize heart damage.  For chronic conditions, doctors may recommend that affected patients modify their diets, lose excess weight, exercise (under supervision), manage stress, and quit smoking.  Conditions such as hypertension and diabetes should be controlled to minimize their affect on the heart.  Heart failure often requires treatment with low salt diet and diuretics (to try to reduce the amount of fluid accumulating) as well as drugs such as digoxin to improve the function of the heart muscle.

Drugs may be necessary to help manage symptoms and control heart diseases.  Surgical procedures may be required to bypass blocked arteries, replace defective heart valves or correct congenital abnormalities.  Those with infections may need to take antimicrobial drugs.

New drugs, procedures, and guidelines for addressing heart disease continue to be developed.  Patients should talk to their doctor about the best treatment options for their condition.

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