A US survey released by patient advocacy group Heart-Valve-Surgery.com, with support by Medtronic, has found that nearly half (49%) of heart valve patients say return to active living is a key factor in their treatment decision.
The survey of more than 3,400 heart valve patients and caregivers uncovered real-world insights around managing heart valve disease—from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. The survey findings coincide with the launch of a new Active Living Awareness Initiative.
The initiative comes at a time when heart valve disease impacts more than five million Americans, including 1.5 million with aortic stenosis (AS). Despite the prevalence and severity of AS, the American Heart Association warns that the COVID-19 pandemic has put healthcare on hold for many individuals leading to heart health emergencies.
For patients who are candidates, minimally invasive procedures, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), generally require less time in the hospital with faster procedure times, and may result in a quicker recovery.
The survey found that most respondents (90%) who identified as heart valve patients are more influenced by conversations with their doctor when making treatment decisions, while other top factors included conducting their own online research (55%) and having conversations with family or friends (28%).
“With the majority of heart valve patients reporting conversations with their doctors as the most important factor in their treatment choice, the importance in seeking treatment early and having an informed dialogue with their physicians, cannot be overstated,” said Kendra Grubb, surgical director with the Structural Heart and Valve Center at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, USA. “These conditions need to be taken seriously early on, and we want patients to know that meeting with their doctor and considering all the factors is a vital first step in getting healthy again.”
The Active Living Awareness Initiative aims to educate on the importance of early treatment and diagnosis for heart valve disease.