Conceptualization and Measurement of Physiologic Health for Adults

Vol. 5, Congestive Heart Failure

by Marc Rosenthal, Kathleen N. Lohr, Randi S. Rubenstein, George A. Goldberg, Robert H. Brook


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Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic, progressively debilitating condition that appears almost exclusively and not uncommonly among persons over 40 years of age. Data on its prevalence and adverse consequences are used in the Health Insurance Study (HIS) to evaluate the effects of different levels of health insurance on health status and quality of care because of its widespread prevalence, positive response to treatment, and impact on well-being. This volume reviews pertinent medical literature, details the HIS definition of CHF, describes HIS methods for measuring its presence and impact on people's lives, presents and discusses the enrollment data from the six HIS sites, and outlines quality-of-care criteria. Of 5,628 persons responding to CHF-related questions, 134 (2.4 percent) were classified as having the condition. CHF was the source of considerable deleterious impact on a person's life. Over 90 percent of those afflicted reported experiencing at least one negative consequence of their illness: worrying about the problem; suffering some pain; restricting their usual activities; or spending much of the day in bed.

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