A Way to Navigate the Costs of a Heart Valve Diagnosis

Date: December 13th, 2016

So you just got the news from your cardiologist: You have heart valve disease. It’s never easy getting news like this, especially because of the impact it could have on your life. It’s understandable that you are scared and worried about how it will impact your physical health. But you also need to consider the financial impact – something that can cause significant worry and stress. Thankfully there are many resources out there that can help you with the costs of medicine, co-pays,

Learning about Heart Valve Disease

Date: December 13th, 2016

Heart valve disease (HVD) is a condition that involves damage to one or more of the heart’s valves; it affects an estimated five million Americans. While some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications, including about 22,000 deaths per year. Valve disease can be present at birth or develop from damage later in life from calcification, other cardiovascular diseases and conditions, or infection.  Fortunately, valve disease can usually be successfully treated with medications to ease symptoms and reduce

A Key to Successfully Living with Valve Disease? Learning from Others

Date: August 4th, 2015

Heart valve disease involves damage to one or more of the heart's four valves. Valve defects can be there at birth (congenital) or develop later in life. It is very possible that you or someone you know has had valve disease, as it is common and affects as many as five million Americans each year. While some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications. Fortunately, valve disease can usually be successfully treated with valve repair or replacement in

Living with Venous Thromboembolism: What You Need to Know

Date: April 1st, 2015

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the third most common cardiovascular illness in the U.S. and includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). VTE occurs in the following manner: A blood clot develops in a deep vein in the body—usually within the muscles of the leg or pelvis. That’s deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When those blood clots break free, they can travel through the circulatory system to the lungs and lodge in a main artery or arteries, blocking blood flow. That is called a pulmonary

Alliance Recognizes Heart Month with AFib Campaign

Date: March 31st, 2015

February is known for groundhogs, presidents, Valentine’s Day, and for those of us here in Washington, D.C., cold and snow. February also has the distinction of being American Heart Month, a time to focus on the importance of heart health. During this month, the Alliance raised awareness about atrial fibrillation with the launch of its Living with AFib campaign. AFib, short for atrial fibrillation, is the most common type of arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, and can lead to stroke and heart-related

The Amazing Human Heart

Date: November 25th, 2014

Did you know that the human heart is divided into four chambers? After blood passes through the lungs to pick up oxygen, it flows into the two upper chambers, called atria. When each atrium contracts, or squeezes, blood is pushed through a valve—a thin leaflet of tissue that keeps the blood moving in the correct direction—into the bottom chambers, or ventricles. Blood is then squeezed out of the ventricles through another set of valves and circulated throughout the body. Valves keep

Recognizing Aortic Stenosis

Date: July 16th, 2014

Aortic Stenosis in Seniors Explained Older Americans today are more active than previous generations, and the percentage of people age 65 and older who meet exercise recommendations continues to grow. However, for some seniors, activities such as walking up a flight of stairs or playing with grandchildren can result in dizziness, fatigue or even fainting. All of these symptoms could be harmless, but that does not mean they should be ignored. They could be stemming from a condition called aortic stenosis, a

The Month of Love and Heart Health

Date: February 1st, 2013

It’s that time of year where people throughout the world exchange candy, flowers, and sentimental gifts with their loved ones, and those that they hope to love.  While many of us believe—especially those who grumble at the thought of the lovey-dovey holiday—that Valentine’s Day was invented by greeting card and chocolate companies to up their profits, it actually has a long, and somewhat dark history. Heart health advocacy organizations are hoping to add to the history of Valentine’s Day by designating

Know Your Pulse: It Could Save Your Life

Date: October 1st, 2012

Think back and try to remember if your doctor or another health care professional checked your pulse during your last visit? Not with a stethoscope but with their fingers on your wrist? If you’re like many people you’re sure that they listened to your heart and checked your blood pressure, but you’re also pretty sure no one has taken your pulse in a while. While listening to your heart with a stethoscope helps your doctor evaluate the functioning of your heart

The Balancing Act: Managing Atrial Fibrillation

Date: July 1st, 2011

Every year around 75,000 Americans learn that they have atrial fibrillation. Some are diagnosed after noticing that their heart is racing or skipping beats. Others feel chest and throat pressure that they think is a heart attack. Or they go to their doctors feeling tired-out and weak all the time. Some feel nothing at all. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia—or abnormal heart rhythm. Also referred to as afib, it’s a disorder involving the heart’s electrical system. During

Treating Valve Disease: Successful Options for All Patients

Date: May 1st, 2011

Each year, as many as 5 million Americans are diagnosed with valve disease. There are a number of different types of valve disease and all of them involve defects or damage to one or more of the heart’s four valves. While some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications, including death. Fortunately, most valve disease can be successfully treated with surgery in patients of all ages and races. The Valve Disease Gap Cardiovascular diseases—which include heart diseases and stroke—are

Aortic Stenosis: Under-Diagnosed and Under-Treated

Date: May 1st, 2010

Aortic stenosis is a type of heart disease where the aortic valve becomes narrowed over time, obstructing blood flow to the body. It is more common with age and if left untreated, can lead to heart disease, significantly decreased quality of life, heart failure, and even death. Fortunately, aortic stenosis (AS) can usually be treated with surgery in patients of all ages. Despite the fact that surgery is associated with better survival and considerable improvements in quality of life, AS is

Keeping Up the Fight Against Heart Disease

Date: July 1st, 2007

Cardiovascular disease is a classic “good news, bad news” story. Although improved treatments have led to lower death rates, an aging and overweight population poses challenges for the U.S. health care system, experts said at a recent briefing in Washington, D.C. “The real transformative way for us to address cardiovascular disease will be from science and discoveries that translate into optimal medical care,” said Daniel Perry, executive director of the nonprofit Alliance for Aging Research, which co-sponsored the Capitol Hill briefing

Atrial Fibrillation

Date: July 1st, 2004

Most of us are happy to make adjustments in our lives now if we know they may reduce our chances of developing health problems later. That's why knowing our risk for medical problems is so important. We may not be able to change certain risk factors, such as age or heredity, but many are within our control. Yet according to a survey conducted by the Alliance, more than three-fourths of Americans are unaware of one of the main risk factors for