Monday 13th September 2021
Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week (13-19 September, 2021) aims to improve diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease globally. This international initiative is led by the Valve Council of the Global Heart Hub, and includes heart valve disease charities from around the world.
Heart valve disease is a common, serious, but treatable condition that affects 1.5 million over 65s in the UK. Despite its prevalence, if it is diagnosed and treated early, people can return to a good quality of life and enjoy the Power of Positive Ageing.
Despite the prevalence of the condition, awareness of the symptoms remains low. Valve Week aims to raise awareness of the red flag symptoms of breathlessness, dizziness and fatigue, and encourage anyone who experiences those symptoms to get a stethoscope check.
Detection of heart valve disease involves identifying symptoms and listening to the heart with a stethoscope for a ‘heart murmur’. A murmur does not always mean that there is a problem. Patients with warning signs, like a heart murmur, should be referred to a cardiologist, who will perform additional examinations to confirm the diagnosis.
One out of eight people over the age of 75 suffers from moderate to severe heart valve disease, which involves damage to one or more of the heart’s valves. Many people with heart valve disease can live a normal life for many years, with little treatment. As with any heart condition, there are potential complications, including heart failure, heart rhythm problems, death.
The 2021 campaign message is: If small, everyday tasks feel more like a big ordeal, listen to your heart - ask your doctor for a stethoscope check.
You can support Valve Week 21 by following Heart Valve Voice and Global Heart Hub on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, or by sharing your valve disease experiences using the hashtag #ValveWeek and #ListenToYourHeart.
The awareness week is led by the Global Heart Hub, the umbrella group for cardiovascular patient organisations, including; Initiative Herzklappe in Germany, Meine Herzklappe from Austria, Instituto Lado A Lado Pela Vida in Brazil, Alliance du Cœur in France, Cuore Italia in Italy, Heart Valve Voice in the UK, US, Canada and Japan, AEPOVAC in Spain, EcoSerce in Poland, PACO from Mexico, Croí, the heart and stroke charity from Ireland, Mended Hearts in the US and hearts4heart in Australia.