A recent survey of more than 12,820 people who are 60 years and older across Europe found that aortic stenosis is one of the heart conditions people are least familiar with. Only 3,8% of respondents know what aortic stenosis is – the most common form of heart valve disease. Although awareness increases with age, 30 percent of respondents over the age of 65 say they know nothing about heart valve disease.
Often heart valve disease patients are diagnosed only because they see a healthcare professional for a regular check-up or for some other issue.The seriousness of heart valve disease, combined with the fact that the symptoms are often difficult to detect or dismissed as a normal part of ageing, means that this lack of awareness can have troublesome or dangerous consequences.
This is why European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week is so important, not only to raise awareness of the disease but to also make the population more aware of the symptoms so they can get the help they need at the right time. It is also important that clinicians provide their patients, especially those who are over the age of 65, with regular stethoscope exams as these are the key to detecting the disease.
Please mark the third week of September in your calendar and get involved in spreading the word about heart valve disease.
For more information about heart valve disease visit the website of the patient organisation in your country: