What is Cor Pulmonale?
Cor pulmonale is failure of the right side of the heart brought on by long-term high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries and right ventricle of the heart.
The right side of the heart struggles to pump blood against high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. If high pressure continues for a long period of time, the right side of the heart will be put under strain, and cor pulmonale will occur.
Almost any chronic lung disease or condition causing prolonged low blood oxygen levels can lead to cor pulmonale.
How common is Cor Pulmonale?
It has been estimated that as many as 20 to 30 per cent of patients with COPD have cor pulmonale.
What are the symptoms of Cor Pulmonale?
Shortness of breath and light-headedness during activity is often a symptom, as well as the feeling of a pounding heart. Other symptoms may include fainting spells, chest discomfort and pain, and swelling of the feet or ankles.
How is Cor Pulmonale treated?
It is important to treat the conditions that cause pulmonary hypertension. This can include medication, blood thinners to reduce the risk of blood clots, oxygen, and a lung or heart-lung transplant if medication does not work.
Lifestyle changes must also be made as the condition gets worse. You will need to avoid strenuous activity, travelling at high altitudes, and stopping smoking.
If you wish to disclose your medical details and allow your insurer the opportunity to review your medical history, choose a policy with Full Medical Underwriting.