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Out of 100 people, 60 know what an heart attack is but only 7 know about heart valve disease (valvulopathy). This is according to asurvey conducted last year among nearly 13,000 people over the age of 60 in 11 European countries and presented in Milan on Sept. 11 at the celebration of the first European Heart Valve Disease Day.”

“The perception of these conditions, which mainly affect the elderly, is unfortunately low not only in the general population but also among territorial physicians, who should spend more time listening to patients, particularly when they report chest pain, breathlessness, fatigue or irregular heartbeat.” says Battistina Castiglioni, GISE councilor, Italian Society of Interventional Cardiology.

“Auscultation of the chest takes only one minute and is sufficient to formulate a suspicion and prescribe an investigation that can make a diagnosis,” points out Sergio Berti, of the Italian Society of Interventional Cardiology. In the case of valvulopathy, which affects about 10% of the over-65s, early intervention in the case is decisive and enables the resumption of a completely normal life. Today of the 12,000 valve replacements (of aorta or mitral) performed each year in Italy, 5,500 are done by transcatheter, under local anesthesia only.

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