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02/20/2023 – “National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day” By Kaylee McGrath

The Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign was started to increase recognition of the specific heart valve disease risks and symptoms, improve detection and treatment, and ultimately save lives. Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day takes place every February 22 during American Heart Month. On this day and throughout the year, the campaign partners with 100+ non-profits, advocacy organizations, professional societies, foundations, hospitals, and heart centers. Join forces to help spread the word about valve disease. While partners educate about heart valve disease awareness throughout the year, a dedicated day allows all of us to collaborate and amplify each other’s messages.

As many as 11 million Americans are affected by heart valve disease, public awareness of the disease is shockingly low. A recent survey of more than 2,000 adults found that three out of four Americans know little to nothing about valve disease. The seriousness of the disease, combined with the fact that symptoms are often difficult to detect or dismissed as a normal part of aging, makes this lack of awareness dangerous. While heart valve disease can be disabling and deadly, it can usually be successfully treated in patients of all ages if treated in time, making education and awareness particularly important.

The cause is also joined by patient advocates from across the country and even around the world, who share their stories and use their voices to help raise awareness and save lives.

This day is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on its National Health Observances calendar, and by resolutions in the U.S. Congress. To date, the campaign has produced more than a billion impressions and reached more than 166 million through high-impact engagement.

What Is Heart Valve Disease?

• A type of heart disease that involves damage to one or more of the heart’s four valves that causes them to not open or close properly and disrupts blood flow. While some types of valve disease are not serious, others can lead to major complications including death

• If a valve doesn’t close completely and allows blood to leak backwards, it’s called regurgitation or insufficiency, and may be referred to as a leaky valve. If a valve doesn’t open fully to allow enough blood to flow through, it’s called stenosis and may also be referred to as a sticky, narrowed, or stiff valve. A valve may also fail to open fully due to an obstruction

• Each of the heart’s four valves can have regurgitation or stenosis, or both. The aortic and mitral valves are the most likely to be damaged

• The most common types of valve disease are mitral regurgitation, mitral stenosis, aortic regurgitation, and aortic stenosis

• Depending on the type of valve disease, the damage can cause the heart to work harder than it should and can restrict blood flow to the rest of the body. Without treatment, this can lead to serious complications including arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, stroke, other heart disease, and even death. These complications can significantly impact quality of life, make everyday activities difficult, and lead to disability and loss of independence

Source of Information: Various Google Searches

Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!

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