National Heart Failure Awareness Week is set for February 14-20. This is a time for physicians and other health providers to remind patients with heart failure, those at risk and family members of patients how to best manage this syndrome, what heart failure means, to re-evaluate life style and consider changes to improve quality of life. Visit www.abouthf.org to learn more about following a low sodium diet, exercise do’s and don’ts, managing medications, heart rhythm problems, and other factors commonly associated with heart failure. These modules are written in easy to read and understand language and can be downloaded free of charge.
While not intended to replace regular medical care, these modules can help patients and at risk individuals, family and friends communicate better with their health care provider.
Heart failure is very prominent in society as nearly five million Americans live with this condition and as many as 700,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
“Common signs of heart failure are often misdiagnosed and misunderstood,” said Dr. Douglas Mann, HFSA President and Chief of Cardiology, Washington University School of Medicine. “It is the goal of HFSA to educate people about the common signs and symptoms of heart failure. National Heart Failure Awareness Week is a chance to highlight the facts, resources and opportunities that can help physicians, nurses, patients and their families, and at risk individuals better understand heart failure. Heart failure can be prevented and with proper care and diagnosis, can be effectively treated to allow many patients to live.”
About Heart Failure
Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormal after damage from heart attack or high blood pressure and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body’s needs. Many people are not aware they have heart failure because the symptoms are often mistaken for signs of getting older. Heart failure affects from 4.6 to 4.8 million individuals in the United States. Demographic and clinical evidence strongly suggest the prevalence of heart failure will increase throughout the next decade. Ten to 15 years ago heart failure was considered a “death sentence;” however, recent advances in treatment have shown that early diagnosis and proper care in early stages of the condition are key to slowing, stopping or in some cases reversing progression, improving quality of life, and extending life expectancy. For more information on heart failure, please visit www.abouthf.org.
About the Heart Failure Society of America
The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a nonprofit educational organization, founded in 1994 as the first organized society of heart failure experts in the Americas. Today HFSA has over 1,700 members and provides a forum for all those interested in heart function, heart failure research and patient care. The Society also serves as a resource for governmental agencies (FDA, NIH, NHLBI, CMS), private industry and health care providers. Additional information on HFSA and Heart Failure Awareness Week can be found at www.hfsa.org.
To bring attention to this growing heath problem in the United States the US Senate passed a Resolution in 2000 declaring the week of Valentine’s Day as National Heart Failure Awareness Week.