I co-authored Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition, and from the book grew a new blog HeartSense. I teach health and science writing at Johns Hopkins University and am co-editor of A Field Guide for Science Writers. For 17 years I covered medicine for The Sun in Baltimore.
<p>But the only way doctors and patients and their families will get a really accurate handle on prognosis with current therapies is if a huge prospective study is undertaken or at least a national registry that includes tens of thousands of patients seen at many academic centers and those seen in the community by both cardiologists and general practitioners.</p>
<p>For the last week I have been mulling over the name <em>heart failure</em>, questioning why the collective conditions that bear its name ever got such a name, and looking into the very murky area of heart failure death statistics. Many, many of us who were shocked to get the frightening diagnosis “heart failure” do not have hearts that have failed. We got treated, some more quickly than others, and went right on with our lives. Others are not so lucky and die of heart failure, sometimes suddenly and sometimes after years. Trying to discuss what heart failure is g