The outlook for people living with dilated or restrictive cardiomyopathy varies widely. Some people live healthy, long lives free of symptoms, unaware that they even have the disease. For most people, symptoms of heart failure gradually progress over time; in a minority of individuals, the symptoms start suddenly and the disease progresses rapidly. No matter the scenario, your health needs to be monitored closely in order to make decisions about treatment options.
Overall, about two thirds of people with newly diagnosed heart failure die within five years. However, there is considerable individual variation depending on severity of symptoms and how effectively the symptoms can be treated. For people with minor symptoms that appear only with extreme exertion, fewer than 5 percent die in the first year. But for those who experience debilitating symptoms while at rest, more than 50 percent may die in six to 12 months. This latter group should be considered for other therapies such as heart transplant and LVAD.
People with dilated or restrictive cardiomyopathy should see their healthcare provider regularly; your physician will decide how often based on your condition.
In addition, seek out medical attention if you experience:
Healthy lifestyle choices are fundamental to minimizing the symptoms of heart failure associated with dilated and restrictive cardiomyopathy. These include:
Last reviewed on 12/31/2008
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