At Least Five Million Americans Have Valve Disease, But Many Are Undiagnosed and Untreated
Washington, D.C., February 20, 2018 – National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day will be celebrated on February 22, 2018, as organizations, advocates, health care professionals, patients, and families join together across the nation to increase recognition about heart valve disease (HVD).
HVD consists of damage to one or more of the heart’s four valves, which interrupts blood flow and often causes serious complications—including death. The good news is that heart valve disease can usually be successfully treated with valve repair or replacement in patients of all ages. This makes awareness of the risk factors and signs and symptoms especially important.
This year’s theme of “Listen to Your Heart” encourages people to know their risk factors for heart valve disease, listen to their hearts and get them checked regularly, and know where to turn if they notice symptoms.
“At least five million Americans have heart valve disease, and an estimated 25,000 people in the U.S. die from it each year,” says Susan Peschin, MHS, Alliance for Aging Research president and CEO. “Yet awareness about heart valve disease is still very low, with more than three in four Americans knowing little to nothing about HVD. National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day brings much-needed attention to this condition, and we are honored to be joined by more than 40 national organizations that are encouraging people to ‘listen to their heart’ in order to ultimately improve detection and access to treatment.”
Throughout the country, a series of events is planned, including an event with the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute in northern Virginia at 9:30 a.m. EST. The event features Susan Peschin, MHS, Alliance president and CEO, Dr. Christopher O’Conner, M.D., CEO of Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, Eric L. Sarin, M.D., co-director, Inova Structural Heart Program, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, and Col. Arnald Gabriel (retired), a heart valve patient. A Twitter chat focused on educating about valve disease will be at 1 p.m. EST. The day will also be recognized at the New York Stock Exchange, where advocates and an individual who was successfully treated for heart valve disease, will ring the closing bell at 4 p.m. EST. All of the day’s events can be followed here.
Many of the day’s events can be followed on Twitter using #ValveDiseaseDay. The campaign’s website ValveDiseaseDay.org has information about the campaign, free graphics and resources, and tips on how to help spread the word. You can see the press kit here.
The Alliance’s activities around National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day were conducted with unrestricted educational support from Edwards Lifesciences Foundation and Medtronic.