Tuesday 26th September 2017

​The recent EuroPCR London Valves conference was the perfect venue to announce the first ever European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day that will be held in September 2018.

The announcement came from cardiologists and patient organisations from The United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands. In addition to the announcement of the awareness day, a five point action plan was also introduced that will serve to underpin all of the efforts around heart valve disease awareness.

Heart valve disease is very prevalent throughout the UK and Europe and while significant improvement has been achieved in the treatment and management of cardiovascular disease, the same cannot be said for heart valve disease. Outcomes for patients with heart valve disease whose condition is left untreated are often quite poor. Studies show that people with serious aortic stenosis, one of the most common forms of heart valve disease, have only a 50% chance of survival after two years.1 Other publications point out that the awareness of aortic stenosis and its symptoms which include breathlessness, tiredness, chest pains and the common complaint of ‘feeling old’, is very low compared to other heart diseases.

“Heart valve disease will become more prevalent in the growing ageing population, yet people know little about the symptoms or the serious consequences. Awareness and education are crucial to save lives, because most heart valve diseases can be effectively treated when diagnosed and managed in time. The coming year we will join forces to get this initiative off the ground.” explained cardiologist and course director Dr. Bernard Prendergast.

PCR London Valves supports this initiative alongside the committee of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI), the world-leading course in interventional cardiovascular medicine. The mission is to raise awareness of the disease with partners across Europe so that all of the parties involved can work toward improving diagnosis, treatment and management of valve disease.

Bernard Prendergast said “By raising awareness of this disease we can highlight the need for timely detection and intervention. In our country education and stethoscope checks for elderly are vital in diagnosing heart valve disease early so we can offer effective treatment sooner.”

The awareness day will be based around the Five A’s of Heart Valve Disease Awareness. The A’s refer to: being Aware of the symptoms and seriousness of heart valve disease, Ask for a stethoscope check, Act in case of suspicion, Adapt care pathways, provide Access to treatment. The initiators called upon cardiologists, general practitioners, politicians and patient organisations to join the initiative. In addition to the awareness day the very first European Patient Meeting will be organised at the EuroPCR London Valves conference and will support many national activities in participating countries.

Visit the European Heart Valve Disease Awareness website here: https://heartvalveday.eu/