A patient is a smoker, has a poor diet, sedentary lifestyle; uses oxygen daily to relieve shortness of breath; and complains of occasional chest pains. What disease process do you think this individual may be experiencing? What suggestions would you give to the patient and his doctor?
Shortness of breath can be on the basis of heart disease and/or lung disease. The chest pain you describe sounds minimal but could still be a reflection of coronary artery disease. My suggestions fall into two categories: The first would be that the patient should have medical evaluation of his/her heart and lungs, to include pulmonary function testing and an exercise study. The second is the recommendation of a change in life style, most importantly to engage in a smoking cessation program and an exercise program.
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