heart valve disease
While many people are familiar with heart disease and heart attacks, there’s another serious heart condition that impacts more than 5 million Americans, half of whom are age 65 and older. It’s called valvular heart disease (VHD), and it occurs when the heart valves do not work properly to keep blood flowing through the heart. Left untreated, heart valve disease can cause heart attacks, irregular heart rhythms, congestive heart failure and other heart conditions, significantly impacting a person’s quality of life and potentially leading to an untimely death. To help older adults in New Ulm, Minn., and the surrounding area determine if they might already have heart valve disease and not be aware of it, MHIF, in partnership with The Heart of New Ulm (HONU) and New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC), part of Allina Health, are conducting free heart valve disease screenings for eligible adults age 65 and older. The screenings, funded by the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation, are part of an MHIF research project that is the first prospective population VHD screening study done in the United States.
- Adults age 65 and older
- Receive care from primary provider at New Ulm Medical Center
All participants will be asked to complete a brief demographic and lifestyle questionnaire, have their height, weight and blood pressure measured, and then be examined using a handheld portable echocardiography device. The device is harmless and uses sound waves that are changed into pictures viewed on a video monitor to help detect if the heart valves are working correctly. All individuals will receive an educational booklet with information about valve disease and actions they can take should they be diagnosed with mild, moderate or severe valve disease.