Medical Experts Urge Awareness on Heart Valve Issues

BOSTON – Monday is Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day, and the Alliance for Aging Research is bringing awareness to the often overlooked disease.

“Unfortunately it is not a disease that people typically think of when they think of heart disease. They tend to think of heart attacks, or congestive heart failure, and they don’t really think of heart valve disease. In fact, we know that three out of four people know little or nothing about it,” said Vice President of Health and Advocacy for the Alliance for Aging Research Lindsay Clarke.

Heart valve disease doesn’t always show symptoms, but can manifest in shortness of breathe, dizziness, tightens in the chest, or extreme tiredness. However, those symptoms can often be dismissed as normal signs of ageing.

“Heart valve disease can be detected with a simple stethoscope check by your practitioner, who can hear an irregular heart sound or heart murmur,” said Clarke.

There are currently 11 million Americans living with heart valve disease in the United States, and both the elderly and African American population are particularly vulnerable.

One in ten people over the age of 75 are estimated to have moderate to severe heart valve disease, while African Americans are 20 times more likely to develop heart failure under the age of 50 than others.

 “It’s really important that people are going to see their doctors, and getting regular checkups and having their hearts listened to, because if people to have heart disease, not all types are serious but some can lead to death,” said Clarke.


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