Chief Executive, Heart Valve Voice
Know the symptoms – if you are feeling dizzy, breathless, fatigued and have chest pains, it could be a sign of heart valve disease.
Across the UK, approximately 1.5 million people aged over 65 are affected by heart valve disease.
According to the OxVALVE Study, this will increase by 122% to as many as 3.3 million by 2056, yet many are not aware they are have a condition that can be effectively treated if diagnosed early.
Despite its prevalence, knowledge of heart valve disease is limited. According to a Heart Valve Voice survey of 1,411 people over the age of 60, 94% did not know what aortic stenosis was and only 3% were concerned about valve disease in comparison with other illnesses.
Don’t ignore the symptoms
“Many over 65s mistakenly believe that symptoms of valve disease – such as breathlessness, fatigue and chest pains – are merely a sign of ageing,” says Wil Woan, Heart Valve Voice CEO.
“We are campaigning to highlight the importance of recognising symptoms, improve diagnosis through regular heart checks, and streamlining the patient treatment pathway.”
The 10-year plan
The NHS recently revealed their 10 Year Plan with a focus for the first time on heart valve disease. This announcement came just ahead of the launch of our own Gold Standard of Care Report. Working with leading UK valve disease care specialists, the report sets out the ideal process to achieve the perfect valve disease patient pathway.
For patients with heart valve disease, a consistent patient pathway is key to ensuring that they receive the correct treatment at the right time. If heart valve disease is caught early enough, more severe complications such as heart attack or heart failure can be avoided. Moreover, patients can get back to living, being active and ageing healthily, contributing positively to their communities.
“We believe the recommendations found in the NHS 10 Year Plan can really help to remedy the problem of under diagnosis and treatment,” says Wil. “By delivering optimal treatment of heart valve disease, you ensure that patients can get back to their lives and reduce the burden on the NHS.
To find out more about heart valve disease, read more on Heart Valve Voice