Former U.S. Congressman Dr. Phil Gingrey, Senior Advisor to the District Policy Group at Drinker Biddle, authored a column in The Hill on the need for increased awareness about heart valve disease (HVD) and its warning signs. Dr. Gingrey points out that there have been tremendous advances in HVD treatment and an increased survival rate estimated at 97 percent following valve surgery, however, an estimated 22,000 people in the U.S. still die from HVD each year.
Many patients are diagnosed with HVD only because a health care provider discovered a heart murmur during a routine check with a stethoscope. Dr. Gingrey encourages members of Congress and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help spread the word and educate constituents about this disease.
“A 97 percent survival rate following heart valve repair or replacement surgery is amazing, but far too many people still die because their heart valve disease went unrecognized and untreated. The greatest medical innovations cannot ‘treat’ a lack of public awareness. And, when it comes to heart valve disease, what you don’t know can hurt you.”