Heart disease is a term that serves as an umbrella for a diverse array of problems affecting the heart, including heart failure, coronary disease, and valve disease. Some heart problems can be congenital, that is, present from birth. Others develop later, and are more directly linked to lifestyle issues. Educating yourself is the first step in understanding your particular diagnosis.
“One of the first things I address,” Dr. Krasuski says, “is what’s going on specifically that makes [the patient’s] heart different from what the normal is. Then, we can talk about what causes it, how we plan to treat it, and what the prognosis is going to be.” You should feel comfortable asking questions and discussing concerns with your physicians, as well as taking a look at what lifestyle factors may have contributed to your condition.