(NAPSI)—More than 8 million American adults have a condition known as heart valve disease (HVD). While it can be managed, too many people who have HVD don’t know it.
To help that situation, the American Heart Association, with support from Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, answers seven frequently asked questions.
1. What is HVD? In HVD, heart valves don’t work as they should. A heart valve should open one way and seal tight when closed. Sometimes, either due to congenital heart defects, side effects of cancer treatment, or secondary heart disease, the valve allows leaks, putting a strain on the heart and prohibiting proper circulation of blood.
2. Who’s at risk? HVD can happen to anyone at any age, but the risk increases with age and in those with congenital heart valve defects or who have had a heart attack, rheumatic fever, hypercholesterolemia, or an infection in the lining of the heart walls or valves. These individuals should speak frequently with their health care providers about HVD.
Currently, HVD prevalence is greater in older Caucasians, though African Americans and Hispanics tend to have lower ideal heart health levels, which can lead to HVD.
3. Is HVD preventable? No, but it can be managed through a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition, exercise, not smoking, weight management and medication. Most people who get treatment experience improved symptoms and can continue to live longer, healthy lives.
4. What are the signs and symptoms?
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling easily fatigued
- Swollen ankles or feet
- Heart palpitations (rapid rhythms or skips)
- Chest tightness or pressure.
Symptoms can be subtle and are often attributed to aging or other diseases. If you experience any of these, see your doctor.
5. What treatments are available? The heart valve can be repaired, or replaced with an artificial one.
6. Who can help? There’s a group of volunteer ambassadors comprised of heart valve disease survivors and caregivers who represent the face of heart valve disease in America. They work to raise awareness about heart valve disease and share available resources for patients and families. You can connect with them at sharefromheart.heart.org.
7. Where can one learn more? You can get further information from the American Heart Association at sharefromheart.heart.org.
Responsible journalism is hard work!
It is also expensive!
If you enjoy reading The Town Line and the good news we bring you each week, would you consider a donation to help us continue the work we’re doing?
The Town Line is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit private foundation, and all donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Service code.
To help, please visit our online donation page or mail a check payable to The Town Line, PO Box 89, South China, ME 04358. Your contribution is appreciated!
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Turn your summer vacation into a staycation
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Kitchen Design with Health and Ergonomics in Mind
- FOR YOUR HEALTH – The Safety of Mushrooms: From Harvest to Home
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Cracking the code to society’s most feared disease
- Is your loved one in a nursing home? Six questions you need to ask
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Fraud And Coronavirus
- FOR YOUR HEALTH – Get stronger every day with at-home workouts: staying active at home is easier
- FOR YOUR HEALTH – Your backyard isn’t cancelled: six tips to celebrate Earth Day right at home
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Ignite immunity, clean naturally with lemons
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Get the Facts on Eating for Health And Boosting Your Immune System Naturally