Heart Valve Disease: Harnessing Innovation to Save Lives, Mitigate Costs, and Advance the Healthy Aging Agenda

Senior people are crucial contributors to society and the economy.

Untreated heart valve disease (HVD) is a barrier to active aging but conversely, early detection and timely treatment will increase longevity and quality of life.

For heart valve disease, symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and chest pain are too often dismissed as “just a normal part of getting old.” This ageist assumption impedes detection, slows the path to diagnosis, and limits a person’s ability to access interventions. These delays can have tragic consequences. When untreated, severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis, the most common type of heart valve disease, has a mortality rate between 25 and 50 percent per year.

Global Heart Hub’s Heart Valve Disease Patient Council has collaborated with Global Coalition on Aging, the world’s leading business voice on aging-related policy and strategy, to develop a position paper on Heart Valve Disease and the Healthy Aging Agenda, aiming to build a firm base for a policy imperative across the world to tackle HVD given that it is a barrier in active and healthy ageing with huge economic consequences.

Together, a multi-sector coalition of leaders and organizations can combat ageist stereotypes that constrain care, improve early detection and diagnosis, and ensure increased and widespread access to life-saving interventions.

Our Call to Action

Early detection and rapid access to high-quality diagnosis and care, offered by a multidisciplinary team is key to improve outcomes and quality of life of the patients. Taking the patient perspective on what is needed to achieve optimal care is essential.

Medical advances, health innovations and public awareness have promoted earlier detection and significantly improved diagnosis as well as treatment options, offering effective interventions to address heart valve disease – but we must drive implementation at scale. Greater urgency is needed to ensure that patients and families, health systems, and societies reap the full benefits of these innovations. This will happen only if:

  • There is greater awareness globally and across stakeholder disciplines.
  • Health systems respond with equitable access, reimbursement, and encouragement for the use of innovations.
  • Heart valve disease is recognized globally as a central element of the Decade of Healthy Aging.
HVD Position Paper

Project Leads

Global Heart Hub Heart Valve Disease Patient Council
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For more information, please contact: info@globalhearthub.org

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