Cor Pulmonale Secondary to Chronic Pulmonary Vascular Hypertension – Condition and Symptoms
The pulmonary (heart) and respiratory (lungs) systems are strongly interrelated, to the point that if something goes wrong with one of them, the other will soon experience problems as well. Together, the pulmonary and respiratory systems control the circulation of oxygen in the body and affect virtually all of the body’s functions.
Cor Pulmonale is a condition that originates in the respiratory system, but has a marked effect on the heart. In particular, it causes problems in the right ventricle of the heart by causing a stiffening of the blood vessels that are used to carry blood pumped from the heart through the lungs.
If left untreated, Cor Pulmonale eventually leads to right side heart failure, which in turn leads to death. Because of this, those who show any of the symptoms of Cor Pulmonale should seek medical attention at their earliest convenience.
Cor Pulmonale secondary to chronic pulmonary hypertension, put simply, is a condition in which high blood pressure leads to lung disease, which in turn leads to right ventricle problems in the heart. Hypertension is only one of many potential causes of Cor Pulmonale, but it is one of the more common causes. Fortunately, when it is caught early enough, it is also one of the most preventable and treatable. Hypertension is often treated with medication and dietary changes, particularly the reduction of sodium (salt).
Typical symptoms associated with Cor Pulmonale include:
- Shortness of breath
- Wet cough
- Abdominal swelling, generally with fluid
- Swelling, especially the ankles and feet
- Liver enlargement
- Facial discoloration
- Abnormal heart sounds
- Enlarged veins, particularly facial and neck veins
Cor pulmonale is typically diagnosed as the result of a series of tests and imaging, including chest X-rays, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, cardiac catheterization, and CT scans. When diagnosed, it is generally treated by eliminating contributing factors such as:
- Exposure to cold weather
- Exposure to dust
- Exposure to smoke in the home
- Salt and other dietary contributors
- Exposure to certain chemicals and other irritants
Additionally, infections frequently caused by the condition are treated with antibiotics. If the condition is advanced enough, it is sometimes treated with medicine that thins the blood or oxygen therapy.
Filing for Social Security Disability with a Cor Pulmonale Secondary to Chronic Pulmonary Vascular Hypertension Diagnosis
One of the important things about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income with Cor Pulmonale is that you should be receiving regular medical care. Not only is this a good idea for health and survival issues, but it will help you establish your claim. In particular, you will want to make sure that your file contains full documentation of all treatments prescribed and your attempts to comply with them. The SSA will want to know if any amount of residual functional capacity has been restored.
The specifications that the SSA considers when determining claims based on Cor Pulmonale can be found in Section 3.09 of the Blue Book (the SSA’s book of listings or qualifying conditions). The main things the Social Security Administration are looking for in determining that you meet a disability listing for Cor Pulmonale have to do with your pulmonary artery pressure and your arterial hypoxemia (decreased blood oxygen pressure). The guidelines used for other pulmonary conditions found in Section 3.02 are also heavily referenced.
You will need the results of all tests performed and all medical intervention attempted. In particular, you will need the results of the spirogram test. If you have had a heart catheterization, the SSA will want to see the results. If you have not had one, and having one is an option, you should consider doing it. The SSA will not generally order heart catheterizations due to the expense involved, but they can help make your case for disability.
Your Cor Pulmonale Secondary to Chronic Pulmonary Vascular Hypertension Disability Case
The majority of Social Security Disability claimants really should not go through the process alone. Most disability claims are not open and shut cases. Even with conditions that should qualify, a number of things can cause a disability claim to be denied, many of which can be prevented.
Working with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer gives you your best chance of having your initial claim accepted. It also improves your chances dramatically in the appeals process, should your initial claim be denied.
Your Social Security Disability attorney or advocate not only knows the parameters the SSA will use to adjudicate your claim, but they can also help put Cor Pulmonale claim together in a way that best highlights the loss of functional capacity, a major criteria the SSA uses to approve disability claims. Best of all, your initial evaluation is free and your Social Security Disability attorney or advocate will only collect a fee if you are approved for your disability benefits.