To the Editor:
Today, Feb. 22, marks the second annual National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day. I urge everyone to educate themselves about this common yet little-known about disease.
Heart valve disease occurs when one or more heart valves do not work properly. This disease reduces blood flow and can cause major health complications. Estimates are that at least 5 million Americans fall victim to this disease, resulting in 25,000 deaths a year – an estimated 68 people a day.
Individuals older than age 75 especially are vulnerable to HVD, along with those who have experienced previous heart-related problems.
Yet nearly 75 percent of Americans have very little knowledge about HVD.
Fortunately, once detected, valve disease usually is treatable for patients of all ages. Visit www.valvediseaseday.org to learn more.
You never know when this information might help save a life.
President, Alliance for Aging Research