What You Need To Know About Heart Valve Disease
North American Precis Syndicate
When caught early, heart valve disease can be treated to help you have a longer, healthier life. (NAPS)
(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.
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,
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.
“More than 8 million American adults have a
condition called heart valve disease. Caught early, it can be treated to help
you have a longer, healthier life. http://bit.ly/2H6DUcd”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)