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Almost 100,000 could unknowingly have potentially deadly heart valve disease


Experts have estimated that almost 300,000 people in Britain could have a potentially deadly heart valve disease called aortic stenosis - including almost 100,000 who are unaware they have it.

The condition carries a high death rate if left untreated and occurs when the main valve which takes blood from the heart stiffens and narrows.

Many people do not know they have the disease and only discover they do when it is too late for treatment.

An international team of scientists, including experts from the Universities of Glasgow and Southampton, set out to research the extent of the disease in the UK.

Their study, published in the journal Open Heart, estimated that in the UK in 2019 there were 291,448 men and women aged 55 and over with severe aortic stenosis.

Of these, an estimated 68 per cent would have symptoms. This means an estimated 92,389 people have the disease and do not know it.

The authors went on to estimate that more than 172,000 (59%) who have the disease will “die within five years without proactive management”.

They concluded that aortic stenosis is a “common condition” in the UK but warned that “without appropriate detection and intervention, survival prospects are likely to be poor”.

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Source: The Independent, 25 January 2022

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