Aortic stenosis: a growing challenge

Public awareness of AS is extremely low.94% of the over 60s in the UK don’t know what the condition is.3


Aortic stenosis is the most common type of heart valve disease in the elderly affecting yearly more than 1.5 million people over the age of 65 in the UK.1 It can greatly reduce life expectancy and if left untreated 50% of those with symptomatic severe AS may die within 2 years.2

 

Why are patients being missed?

 

Image of the ageing lady
Many symptoms of aortic stenosis develop gradually and a patient will often adapt their lifestyle to manage them, or simply blame them on 'old age'.4Symptoms of aortic stenosis include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced physical activity
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Feeling faint or fainting upon exertion
  • Palpitations

 

Listening to the heart is the best

diagnosis tool for a GP

 As a clear sign of aortic stenosis is a heart murmur, most patients with aortic stenosis are first diagnosed following auscultation.5 Primary care physicians, who are often the first point of contact for patients, play a vital role in diagnosis, timely referral and ensuring patients receive appropriate treatment.

Watch Primary Care Cardiovascular Lead, East Midlands, and former GP of the Year, Dr Yassir Javaid, talk about the burden of aortic stenosis and introduce a new resource, exclusive to UK primary care physicians, to support you in the early diagnosis of AS.

 

 

 

Listen. Suspect. Refer.

 

“Listen to the Heart is an excellent educational interactive resource for primary care physicians to help guide them through diagnosis of aortic stenosis and includes all the key interventions that are now available to support the best outcomes for patients." Dr Yassir Javaid

 

www.listentotheheart.co.uk includes the following information on aortic stenosis;

Diagnosis – a simple reminder on how to identify the characteristic murmur with auscultation, presented through rich multimedia content.Treatment – content outlining the available therapy options for patients, including medical and surgical.Resources – information and materials to support your role in communicating with patients.
Background – what you need to know about the pathophysiology and epidemiology.Prevalence – an interactive tool to illustrate the number of patients you are likely to see in your day-to-day practice.Symptoms – a visual guide to what to look out for in your patients, and the prognosis for those with untreated severe aortic stenosis.

References

  1. d’Arcy JL, et al. Large-scale community echocardiographic screening reveals a major burden of undiagnosed valvular heart disease in older people: The OxVALVE Population Cohort Study. European Heart Journal; First published online: 26 June 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehw229
  2. Iung B, Cachier A, Baron G et al. Decision-making in elderly patients with severe aortic stenosis: why are so many denied surgery? Eur Heart J 2005; 26: 2714-20.
  3. Gaede L, Di Bartolomeo R, van der Kley F et al. Aortic valve stenosis – what do people know? A Heart Valve Disease Awareness Survey of over 8,800 people aged 60 or over. Eurointervention: Journal of EuroPCR in collaboration with the Working Group on Interventional Cardiology of the European Society of Cardiology. 2016;12:883–9.
  4. Alliance for Aging Research. Aortic Stenosis: Under-Diagnosed and Under-Treated. 2010. https://www.agingresearch.or/newsletters/view/36. Accessed August 12, 2016
  5. Nishimura RA, Otto CM, Bonow RO et al. 2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: executive summary. Circulation 2014;10;129:2440–92