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After Angioplasty

Managing a Chronic Condition
Coronary Artery Disease is a chronic condition. Interventional treatments like angioplasty can open the blockages caused by plaque buildup in your arteries, increasing blood flow and relieving symptoms such as angina. Medications you may be prescribed can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure or other risk factors and reduce the likelihood of future blockages. But the disease cannot be “cured”. Individuals with coronary artery disease are vulnerable to plaque buildup in arteries leading to the heart and often in other parts of the body as well.

The fact is, most Americans will have two or more chronic conditions during their lifetime. The good news is that medicine has learned that it is possible to live a healthy life with a chronic disease, to manage your condition, sometimes reverse its effects and often become healthier, stronger and feel better than before your condition was diagnosed.

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You can choose simply to live with CAD -- take your medication, maybe watch your diet a bit. Or, you can choose to manage your health positively. “Positively managing” means seeking out information about treatments and health maintenance. It means taking action on your own behalf to maximize your well-being.

We hope you will make a commitment to taking charge of your heart health. We are committed to providing you with tools, information and support to aid you in your efforts.

Active disease management is a process. There are several steps you can take, beginning with learning the facts about your condition. The second step is to make a plan to take actions that will improve your health. A third is learning the skills to manage your condition. (These skills might include learning how to monitor your medication, improve your diet, stick with an exercise program, employ stress reduction techniques, and improve communication skills.)

In future articles we will be providing you with information to help with each of the three steps toward managing your disease.

Managing Coronary Artery Disease: Taking Action
1) Learn about CAD
2) Make a Plan for Change
3) Acquire Self-Management Skills

To begin thinking about your own heart disease risk factors, take a look at these health tools from the American Heart Association.
For an inspiring example of “Life after Angioplasty”, visit the Marathon Runners Discussion Thread on