Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, had his heart checked for heart valve disease at an event hosted by Heart Valve Voice.
The test involves a heart specialist listening to a heart using a stethoscope, one of the first steps taken to detect heart valve disease. A doctor can listen for a characteristic heart ‘murmur’ via a stethoscope, which is usually the first indication of a problem with the heart valves. This is often followed up with an echocardiogram test to confirm the diagnosis.
A recent survey revealed 94% of the over 60s in the UK do not know what aortic stenosis is, and 72% of over 60s reported that they rarely, or never, have their hearts listened to by a doctor. This is despite annual mortality of severe aortic stenosis being considerably higher than most cancers and heart valve disease affecting approximately one million people over 65 years of age in the UK. If left untreated, heart valve disease is irreversible and can progress to heart failure and ultimately death.
Once patients are diagnosed, Heart Valve Voice is also calling for a clearer pathway between primary, secondary and tertiary care to ensure more effective management of the disease across the UK.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“It was fascinating to learn more about heart valve disease. This disease affects a high proportion of the UK population, yet it’s worrying that there are such low levels of awareness across the country.
“I welcome the work of Heart Valve Voice in raising awareness and seeking to improve diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disease and I will do what I can to work with them to support their aims.”