Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

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Tuesday the 22nd was Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day. There’s a good chance you haven‘t heard about heart valve disease.

Dr. Jason Schultz, a cardiologist at Essentia Health, explains. “There are four valves, two on each side. They are responsible for allowing the heart to fill, and making sure the heart pumps blood in the proper direction. Sometimes, the valves get sticky, when they don‘t open very well. Or they get a leak.”

Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, typically don’t feel like yourself, or loss of exercise capacity.

It’s pretty common, according to Dr. Schultz. “It gets worse as we age. Anyone born after 1950, 12-13% have valve problems.”

But there are treatments. “There’s been such a revolution in technologies. There are catheter based approaches, to fix and replace valves. It’s determined on a case by case basis with the patient. We see our valve team as a family, and the patient is part of that,” Schultz added.

For more info: http://www.valvediseaseday.org