Cycle Team 1.JPG

Cycle Team 1

Friday 24th May 2019

With the success of the 2018 cycle ride, the team from Heart Valve Voice wake this morning having completed their third awareness raising cycle ride to EuroPCR.

The cycle team was made up of HVV Chief Executive Wil Woan and 23 clinicians and patients and covered over 350km from St Thomas Hospital to EuroPCR Conference. Heart Valve Disease affects over 1.5 million people over the age of 65 in the UK, according to a 2016 Heart Valve Disease Survey. Awareness of this disease is very low in the UK, despite its prevalence, with an average of 94% of people over the age of 60 being unaware of what aortic stenosis (the most common heart valve disease) is. The disease is easily detectable and diagnosis can involve a simple stethoscope exam from a primary care practitioner.

“We are so proud of the team, they have worked very much like a heat team. They have supported each other and worked tirelessly to raise awareness of valve disease through their cycling,” said Wil Woan, Heart Valve Voice CEO. “What’s even more exciting is that we had more patients involved this year which helps to strengthen our message that with timely treatment many patients with valve disease can regain an improved quality of life and accomplish things they never dreamed of before!”

Patients David Eaton, David Blair and Jonathan Stretton-Downes show us that valve disease hasn’t stopped them from living their best life. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have participated in the cycle ride with Heart Valve Voice this year,” said David Eaton, Heart Valve Voice Patient Advocate and former valve disease patient. “I heard about Patricia Khan and Marina McGraths journey the previous years and it was so inspiring. I am hoping that my participation this year will inspire others to get checked for heart valve disease, particularly if they have symptoms such as breathlessness, tiredness and dizziness. Early detection and timely treatment saved my life and look at me now!”

While there have been many advancements in the treatment of this disease the unfortunate fact is that far too many people are not being diagnosed and treated early enough. It is anticipated that the number of people over the age of 65 with the condition will increase from 1.5 million in 2015 to 3.3 million by 2056, representing a 122% increase according to data obtained as part of the OxVALVE Study. As such, it is important that policy makers and clinicians plan and deliver the necessary provisions to provide the essential health services for the treatment and management of the rapidly increasing numbers of heart valve disease patients.

“It is so important that the general public, particularly those over the age of 65 are aware of the symptoms involved with valvular heart disease and that they are having their hearts listened to and, if needed, being referred for an echocardiogram so that they can be diagnosed/treated/managed in a timely way. With the diagnosis confirmed on echocardiography the clinician can ensure patients receive the right treatment at the right time, and therefore improving the optimal outcome for patients.”

The ride came to an end as the cyclists made their way up on the main stage at the EuroPCR conference which is the annual meeting of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI) and a world-leading course in Interventional Cardiovascular Medicine that hosts cardiac experts from all over the globe. The ideal place to finish such an amazing feat for these wonderful patients and clinicians.