Mary Knudson

health journalist

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.&nbsp; Many, many of us who were shocked to get the frightening diagnosis “heart failure” do not have hearts that have failed.&nbsp; We got treated, some more quickly than others, and went right on with our lives.&nbsp; Others are not so lucky and die of heart failure, sometimes suddenly and sometimes after years.&nbsp; Trying to discuss what heart failure is g