Croí welcomes the launch of the National Stroke Strategy

Croí welcomes the launch of the National Stroke Strategy

“Croí were delighted to welcome the launch of the National Stroke Strategy, on World Stroke Day Oct 29th, and we would like to thank Dr Ronán Collins, the clinical lead for the NCP for Stroke and his colleagues on the Clinical Advisory Group for their work on developing this strategy.

With the HSE predicting a 59% increase in the total number of strokes in Ireland by 2035 it is important that this strategy is now implemented to improve stroke prevention, improve access to acute treatment and rehab and improve support for survivors and caregivers” – Laura Walsh – Croí’s Community Stroke Support Specialist.

Visit – croi.ie/stroke, contact the Croí Health Team at 091-544310 or email healthteam@croi.ie for more information on our Stroke support.

Please see link to National Stroke Strategy – https://lnkd.in/eMCi4ZNt

Croí urges people to act FAST and know the signs of a stroke

To mark World Stroke Day on Saturday, October 29th, Croí, the heart and stroke charity, is reminding the public of the importance of stroke awareness and prevention

A stroke is a medical emergency and can happen to anyone, at any time. ‘Time is brain’ and we need to act ‘FAST’ if we suspect a stroke.

As part of our World Stroke Day awareness campaign, Croí, the heart and stroke charity, supported by Surmodics, is delighted to host a special virtual talk and Q&A on the ‘Psychological Impact of Stroke’.

Join Dr Tom Burke, Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist, University Hospital Galway (UHG), and Assistant Professor, School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), who will talk about the psychological impact of stroke. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions.

Thursday. October 27th, from 11 am – 12 noon

To register go to www.croi.ie/stroke or call Croí at 091-544310

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Ireland with 2,500 stroke-related deaths each year and it is one of the leading causes of disability and death worldwide. Annually, approximately 10,000 people in Ireland have a stroke. Stroke is the leading cause of acquired disability and it is estimated that over 80,000 people in Ireland are living in the community with disabilities, as a result of a stroke. A person’s chance of surviving and recovering is greatly improved if immediate action is taken.

Know the signs and act FAST

Acting FAST increases the chances of survival as urgent treatment can begin.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, look out for the following:

Face – Has the mouth or eye drooped? Can the person smile?

Arms – Can the person raise both of their arms? Is there a weakness in one arm?

Speech – Is the speech slurred? Are they understanding what you are saying?

Time – Call 999 or 112 if you see any of these signs

Other signs to look out for include:

  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, leg or one side of the body
  • Difficulty finding words
  • Blurred vision including loss of sight in one or both eyes
  • Sudden confusion or memory loss
  • Dizziness, a severe headache, reduced balance, or a sudden fall

If you have any questions about stroke or heart health issues please contact the Croí Health Team at 091-544310.

Visit www.croi.ie to access a wide range of helpful resources and to register for weekly sessions with the Croí Health Team.

Broadcaster Dáithí Ó’Sé Calls on ‘Invisible Nation’ to Actively Manage High Cholesterol Levels

  • Research from heart and stroke charity Croí reveals that 83% of over-45s in Ireland don’t associate high cholesterol with risks to heart health

  • Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) is the underlying cause of 85% of all heart attack and stroke-related deaths

  • Survey shows 60% of over-45s were not aware of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

Monday, 10 October 2022, Cork – Broadcaster, Dáithí Ó Sé, has called on all those over 45s to have their cholesterol level checked the next time they visit their GP as new research from the heart and stroke charity Croí, supported by Novartis Ireland, reveals that the majority of respondents (83%) do not mention cholesterol when thinking about their heart health.

Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) is a silent, invisible disease that creates a large health and economic burden on society. ASCVD is caused by a fatty build-up in the lining of the artery walls and is a major driver of heart attacks, strokes and death. It is often invisible or unnoticed, as most people do not experience any significant symptoms until the atherosclerotic plaque unexpectedly ruptures, causing a heart attack or stroke.

A new worldwide movement kicks off in Ireland today at the National Monument in Cork, called Invisible Nation, aimed at highlighting and reducing the large number of preventable deaths from the silent, invisible Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD).

Tomorrow, Invisible Nation will launch in the European parliament as Neil Johnson, CEO of Croí addresses MEPs. Invisible Nation will bring together a worldwide network of patient organisations and other stakeholders which are committed to effecting systemic change in the management of ASCVD, under the auspices of the Global Heart Hub, of which Mr Johnson is the Founder and Executive Director.

In general, people don’t fully grasp the sheer scale and impact of ASCVD on healthcare systems as well as global mortality and morbidity. This is the same in Ireland, where Croí carried out research to measure and understand current levels of knowledge and awareness about ASCVD among those over 45 years of age in Ireland. The research showed that 60% of those over 45 never heard of the term Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease which is the underlying cause of 85% of heart attack and stroke-related deaths and disability in Ireland.

Reacting to the Croí research findings, Mr O Sé said: “I can speak from personal experience as I have high cholesterol and belong to the age group that needs to be vigilant about heart health. While many people are taking some steps to manage heart health, I am concerned that there is very low awareness about the ‘invisible risk’ of high cholesterol. I’d advise anyone in my age group to get their cholesterol checked the next time they visit a GP and if their cholesterol levels are above current clinical guidelines, they need to take a proactive role in managing their cholesterol.

Neil Johnson, Chief Executive of Croí, added: “ASCVD is the underlying cause of 85% of heart and stroke-related deaths, so it is worrying that most over-45s in Ireland do not know about this risk factor. This means that there is a large ‘invisible’ cohort of the population who are not focused on reducing their chances of a heart attack or stroke, and I would encourage them to visit www.croi.ie/ascvd to learn more about ASCVD and cholesterol.  It is time we put Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease higher on the political and health agenda to have a positive impact on public health in Ireland and globally.

Dr Paddy Barrett, Preventive Cardiologist, the Blackrock Clinic, said: “As 80% of heart attacks and strokes are preventable, it is very important for the over-45s to be aware of the ‘invisible risk’ that high cholesterol poses. I would encourage people in this age group to get their cholesterol checked the next time they visit a GP and if their levels are above current clinical guidelines, they need to take a proactive role in managing their cholesterol.

 

Visit www.croi.ie/ascvd or www.invisiblenation.com or follow #InvisibleNation #ASCVD #Cholesterol for more information.

Invisible Nation is supported by Novartis Ireland.

Upcoming Webinar:

CROÍ’S SPOTLIGHT SERIES: THE ROLE OF CHOLESTEROL IN ASCVD

You are invited to a Zoom webinar:

When: Nov 10, 2022 07:00 PM

Register in advance for this webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

What’s your number? Lucy Kennedy and Benecol® want YOU to know your number

Pictured are Lucy Kennedy, Benecol Brand Ambassador, and Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí's Head of Health Programmes and Health Psychologist

The heart-loving brand announces a programme of support for heart health with a free health and wellbeing event and a cholesterol testing day

Today, on World Heart Day, heart-loving food brand, Benecol®, launch their new ‘What’s Your Number?’ campaign with brand ambassador Lucy Kennedy. The campaign aims to support heart health and raise awareness of the issue of high cholesterol, which affects 60% of Irish adults* and, if left untreated, can contribute to coronary heart disease.

Benecol® is running a programme of activities to support heart health that includes:

  • Heartfest, September 29th, Croí House, Co. Galway – Partnering with Croí, the heart and stroke charity, to host Heartfest, a free and holistic cardiovascular health and wellness event. At Heartfest, you will be able to avail of heart health checks, join taster sessions of some of Croí’s exercise and wellbeing classes or attend a mini workshop hosted by Croí’s Cardiac Dietitian on eating for healthy cholesterol. Heartfest will finish with a free public talk on ‘Self-Care is Heart Care – The Power of Knowing Your Numbers and Taking Action’, with experts Dr Susan Connolly, Consultant Cardiologist; Dr Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Croí’s Head of Health Programmes; and Frankie Lane, who will share his personal story of heart disease and recovery. This public talk will be available to attend in person or via livestream from 7 pm at this link: croi.ie/heartfest
  • Free Cholesterol Testing, Friday, October 7th, Nationwide – Benecol® is working with Hickeys and AllCare pharmacies nationwide to host a free cholesterol testing day on Friday 7th of October. Cholesterol tests will be available in local Hickeys & AllCare pharmacies on Friday, October 7th, and if there isn’t a convenient location near you, home tests are also available for free via post. Tests are limited and available on a first come first serve basis. Book an appointment or order a free testing kit via: Benecol.ie/whatsyournumber

Speaking at the campaign’s launch, Lucy Kennedy said: “It’s really important to know your cholesterol level, often we want to ignore things especially if we’re afraid that the answer might not be what we want. But with cholesterol, it’s very much something that you can take into your own hands and do something about – so there’s no reason to be afraid. My own dad had high cholesterol and uses Benecol® with plant stanols to help control it. So I was delighted when I had the opportunity to support Benecol®’s free testing day. It’s so important to take your health into your own hands, so book your free test today.  I’ll be down in Hickey’s Pharmacy in Monkstown on October 7th – so I hope to see some of you then.”

Laura O’Connell, Brand Manager for Benecol® said: “World Heart Day is the perfect time for us to pause and think about our heart health. At Benecol® we want to support people to take proactive steps to safeguard their health. We are delighted to be able to provide free cholesterol tests to the public on Friday 7th October. By offering free cholesterol tests, as part of our What’s Your Number? campaign, we are giving everyone a chance to find out what their cholesterol level is and to know if they need to take steps to change it. Sign up for your free cholesterol test on Friday, October 7th.”

Book your free cholesterol test today at www.benecol.ie/whatsyournumber

Speaking today from Heartfest, Dr Lisa Hynes, Head of Health Programmes at Croí said: “We are really grateful for the support we are receiving from Benecol for Croí’s Heartfest event to mark World Heart Day. Our aim is to educate and empower individuals, families and communities to take control of their heart health and to make and maintain the changes that can lead to a longer and healthier life.”

For more information on Heartfest visit www.croi.ie/heartfest or call 091-544310.

 

The full range of Benecol® products, spreads, drinks and yoghurts, are available in all major Irish retailers (Dunnes, Supervalu and Tesco).

Shine a light on heart health today – World Heart Day 2022!

Croí an Chladaigh

Galway, 29 September 2022: Croí, the heart and stroke charity, is delighted to collaborate with some of the most iconic and historic buildings, organisations and landmarks throughout the West of Ireland today to mark World Heart Day.

Buildings and landmarks illuminate in red for the evening to share the important message that “Self-Care is Heart Care”, one of the core messages that the World Heart Federation has identified for this year’s World Heart Day campaign.

The iconic image of The Galway Hooker docked in the Claddagh basin is a sight that many will associate with Galwegian culture and the Wild Atlantic Way, was the first to light up in support.

To mark their support and commitment to promoting the importance of heart health, the following buildings and landmarks will light in red this World Heart Day:

Galway: Croí House, Galway City Museum, The Browne Doorway on Eyre Square, Galway Cathedral, University of Galway, Bon Secours Hospital, Galway Garda Regional & Divisional HQ, ATU Galway City, ATU Connemara and Kylemore Abbey.

Mayo: ATU Mayo, Castlebar Tourist Information Office, The Linnenhall Arts Centre Castlebar, Castlebar Garda Station, Ashford Castle and Westport town bridges will partake in the illumination initiative.

ATU Donegal, The Bridge of Athlone, the Trinity Arts Centre in Roscommon, Roscommon Garda Station, Carrick on Shannon Garda Station and Sligo town Garda Station will also illuminate for the evening.

In addition to the building illuminations, a community awareness festival will take place at Croí House, Moyola Lane, Newcastle, Galway, today, which encourages the public to come and visit the facility which marks its 10th year open this year, providing essential and lifesaving community support services. People visiting can avail of complimentary heart health checks and experience the heart health activities taking place on the day. The day will finish with an in-person public talk this evening from 7 pm – 8:30 pm at Croí House.

The free public talk on ‘Self-Care is Heart Care – The Power of Knowing Your Numbers and Taking Action’, will be with a panel of experts: Dr Susan Connolly, Consultant Cardiologist; Dr Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Croí’s Head of Health Programmes; and Frankie Lane, who will share his story of heart disease and recovery. This public talk will be a hybrid event with the option to tune in from home live via a livestream link.

The campaign not only encourages people to ensure their heart health is a priority, but also those around them – friends, family and colleagues. Croí’s aim is to educate and empower individuals, families and communities to take control of their heart health and to make and maintain the changes that can lead to a longer and healthier life.

 

For more information visit www.croi.ie/heartfest or call 091-544310.

Croí welcomes measures in Budget 2023 to improve diagnostic services for heart valve patients

Cardiac and stroke charity calls for urgent workforce planning to be included to make the investment worthwhile

Photographed outside Leinster House at the report launch (L-R) are Neil Johnson, Croí Chief Executive; Paul Nolan, Clinical Lecturer at ATU Sligo; Sharon Donohue, Cardiac Faculty Chair of the Irish Institute of Clinical Measurement Science (IICMS) and Prof Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist and Croí Medical Director

Galway, 27 September 2022: Following the announcement of Budget 2023 today, Croí, the cardiac and stroke foundation, has welcomed measures that will improve access to diagnostic services, such as echocardiography, for patients with structural heart conditions, including heart valve disease. The announcement comes following a Croí report which highlighted inequalities in the availability of echocardiography services and made clear and achievable recommendations to improve access.

The report published by Croí earlier this month also outlined the need to meet additional demand through recruitment, training, and upskilling of the workforce. Specifically, a structured postgraduate programme in echocardiography aimed at the 35% of cardiac physiologists not yet trained in this important test.

In a positive move, the Government has allocated €47 million to facilitate GPs in accessing diagnostic tests, with major implications for access to radiology tests as well as up to 266,500 tests across areas such as echocardiography, spirometry and natriuretic peptide blood tests. The current budget estimates do not include provision for workforce planning, however, which will make it more challenging to achieve the best outcome from the funding allocated by the Department of Health.

The charity launched the report, based on data from the National Survey on Echocardiography Services, in Leinster House to an audience of TDs, Senators and political staff. The report highlighted enormous disparities in terms of access to echocardiography services for public and private patients, and recommended GP direct access, via resourced community diagnostics, as a means to address them, reduce waiting times and lower the burden on hospital services.

Responding to the announcement, Paul Nolan, Clinical Lecturer at ATU Sligo said: “Allocated funding for GP direct access to Echocardiography is very welcome, but to be successful, proactive workforce planning and development needs to be undertaken urgently. Given the current prolonged waiting times for this vital test, reduction of those wait times and provision of direct GP access can only be met by addressing the workforce deficiencies outlined.

Neil Johnson, Croí Chief Executive responded: Croí believes that all patients requiring echocardiography services should have equitable and timely access. Our report provided an evidence base to uphold our values and advocate for them, for the benefit of heart patients. We wish to thank Minister Donnelly for taking on board our recommendations, and also his Oireachtas colleagues who listened so intently to our presentation the week before last. We will continue to work constructively with both the Department of Health, the Department of Further and Higher Education, and their respective Oireachtas committees to deliver the best outcomes for heart and stroke patients.

 

To read the report, please visit www.croi.ie/echosurvey

Croí Marks World Heart Day with Heartfest

Join Croí for a free holistic heart health festival to mark World Heart Day on September 29th

On September 29th (World Heart Day), Croí is delighted to invite the public to Heartfest, a free and holistic cardiovascular health and wellness event at Croí House from 10 am – 3 pm.

Self-Care is Heart Care is one of the core pillars that the World Heart Federation has identified for this year’s World Heart Day campaign. With this in mind, we will be opening the doors of Croí House for our first public event since 2019 and the Croí Health Team will be providing heart health checks as well as information and general heart health advice. At Heartfest, you will be able to avail of free taster sessions of some of our most popular offerings such as our exercise classes like Back to Fitness, strength training and yoga; mindfulness and goal setting sessions with our Health Psychologist; and our Cardiac Dietitian will host a Q&A session on eating for a healthy heart. Local community clubs and groups will also be there to highlight the many and varied activities available locally that contribute to overall heart health and wellbeing.

Heartfest will finish with a free public talk that evening from 7 – 8:30 pm at Croí House on ‘Self-Care is Heart Care – The Power of Knowing Your Numbers and Taking Action’, with experts: Dr Susan Connolly, Consultant Cardiologist; Dr Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Croí’s Head of Health Programmes; and Frankie Lane, who will share his story of heart disease and recovery. This public talk will be a hybrid event with the option to tune in from home via a live stream link.

(Click poster to enlarge)

For more information call 091-544310.

Thank you to Benecol, our charity partner, for supporting this event.

National Survey on Echocardiography Services in Ireland

Long wait times in accessing basic heart tests
expose major inequalities in Irish health system

Patients waiting over a year for test that takes six weeks in the UK

Research published today by heart and stroke charity, Croí, has outlined that 80% of public hospitals do not offer GPs direct access to echocardiograms – an essential diagnostic test for heart patients. This majorly increases wait times for those seeking echocardiograms through the public system.

Patients referred for an echocardiogram through a private provider wait, on average, up to one month for their test. Waiting times for those referred for the same test through the publicly-funded health system must wait at least six months and, in many cases, have a wait time of over one year.

The waiting times reflect poorly when compared internationally. In the United Kingdom, the NHS Constitution outlines that patients have a ‘legal right to treatment within 18 weeks of referral and as part of this, pledges that patients should not be required to wait six weeks or more for a diagnostic test’. In Ireland, only private hospitals meet this benchmark for diagnosis.

The problem is attributed to a lack of trained personnel and streamlined referral pathways. The research highlights the potential for even greater inequalities and wait times for tests in the future due to the undersupply of cardiac physiologist graduates (the healthcare professionals who provide these tests) entering the workforce. This is coupled with the fact that the overall profile of cardiac physiologists in Irish hospitals is ageing, with, in some hospitals, up to 20% set to retire within five years.

Echocardiography describes a test which uses sound waves (ultrasound) to take a moving picture of the heart. It is routinely used in the diagnosis and management of a range of heart conditions, in particular heart valve disease, but also conditions such as heart failure and in non-cardiac disciplines, such as oncology.

The most common way a patient receives an echocardiogram is through GP referral. If a patient has private health insurance, they will be referred directly for an echocardiogram at a private healthcare provider. If a patient does not have private health insurance, they are referred to a cardiologist in a public outpatient clinic, where they are then referred to a cardiac physiologist for their heart scan.

Neil Johnson, Croí Chief Executive said: “The results of this research demonstrate glaring inequalities in what is available to Irish patients. The echocardiogram can now be performed on increasingly portable equipment which is not overly expensive. This non-invasive and, from a patient view point, relatively straight forward test can detect a range of heart conditions but a delayed diagnosis can result in deterioration which limits treatment options or can even prove fatal. We know that there is a lack of awareness of this issue and there is a real need for government to address this. We are now calling on the Minister for Health and the HSE to take action. Greater access to echocardiography tests and improved workforce planning must be part of a renewed, cohesive national cardiovascular strategy.”

Speaking at the report launch, Galway-based Consultant Cardiologist and Medical Director, Croi Prof Jim Crowley said: “This report demonstrates that the wait-times for echocardiography in the public system are unacceptably long.  Ultimately, this can only be reduced by addressing the workforce deficiencies outlined.  Plans for GP access to Echocardiography are very welcome, but to be successful, proactive workforce development needs to be undertaken urgently”.

 Sharon Donohue, Cardiac Faculty Chair of the Irish Institute of Clinical Measurement Science noted: “This report highlights, the need for a robust workforce plan, covering the key workforce in this area – experienced Cardiac Physiologists, who perform and report these important and specialised investigations.  The professional body recognises the need for an increased supply of graduates, support for post graduate training and certification in Echocardiography and the introduction of advanced practice to maximise the value of this highly skilled group of healthcare professionals and their impact on patient care.”

This survey was conducted across every Model 2, Model 3, Model 4 and private hospital in the state. The survey was completed by the most senior cardiac physiologist in each hospital department and yielded a response rate of over 90%, thus providing a very comprehensive picture of the state of play.

To read the report, please visit www.croi.ie/echosurvey

 

Galway Chamber Partners with Croí for World Heart Month

Eveanna Ryan, Deputy President of Galway Chamber, and Mark O'Donnell, Head of Foundation and Chief Operating Officer with Croí, launching the partnership between the Galway Chamber and Croí for World Heart Month

One in three deaths in Ireland caused by cardiovascular disease

Galway Chamber is partnering with Croí, the West of Ireland Cardiac & Stroke Foundation, to promote cardiovascular health for the month of September. It is estimated that one in three deaths every year in Ireland (36%) can be attributed to cardiovascular disease, with approximately 10,000 people dying on an annual basis around the country.

Despite these worrying figures, the good news is that up to 80%  of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, can be prevented by making lifestyle changes and modifying risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.

Galway Chamber and Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, will promote a ‘workplace wellness programme’ to all businesses across Galway.  The aim of this campaign is to support healthier working environments, by promoting workplace health initiatives that can improve well-being and deliver a wide range of benefits for both employers and their workforce.

Croí will host a special heart health event for Galway Chamber members with a range of content focused on cardiovascular health and prevention will be shared on social media throughout the month.

The campaign also aligns with World Heart Month which aims to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy heart and to encourage, educate and empower individuals and communities to develop healthy habits that help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Speaking about the campaign, Galway Chamber CEO, Kenny Deery, said, “In all the hustle and bustle of modern workplaces, it can be difficult to take the time to consider our health – especially our heart health. Yet, the figures show that cardiovascular-related issues are the leading cause of death in Ireland. The majority of these deaths could be prevented if more people put greater focus and time into looking after their wellbeing, into removing the risk factors from their lives and making the necessary lifestyle changes.

“I know this is something that I am trying to do myself. I hope over the course of this campaign we will be able to encourage more members of the Galway business community to tackle this vital area and to give their heart health the focus it deserves”, he said.

At the advent of World Heart Month we thought it was important to encourage more of corporate Galway to take the issue of heart health seriously,” said Mark O’Donnell, Head of Foundation and Chief Operating Officer with Croí. “So many people spend a significant portion of their lives in the workplace and we believe this is a key means for reaching people in an environment that will make a difference to shaping their overall health.

“We want to work with businesses to help them manage wellness in their workplaces and to help individuals to make the lifestyle changes that will benefit their health and prolong their lives. Taking care of our heart health is in the interests of both companies and their employees, a message we will be pressing home with the Galway business community through the course of this campaign”, Mr O’Donnell added.

For more information on supports available to Galway businesses from Croí, email info@croi.ie or phone 091-544310.

Experts urge people over 65 to ask their doctor for an annual stethoscope check

One in eight people over 75 years suffer from Heart Valve Disease

Croí, the Irish heart and stroke charity, is reminding all adults over the age of 65 years to ask their doctor for an annual stethoscope check. The call comes in advance of International Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week, 12 – 18th September, which aims to improve diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease.

Heart valve disease occurs when valves in the heart are damaged or not working properly, and despite this being a serious condition it is treatable. As we age, symptoms like breathlessness, fatigue and dizziness could be signs of heart valve disease, and sometimes go undetected. Regular checks for a heart murmur using a stethoscope could be the first step in the detection of heart valve disease. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, ask your doctor for a stethoscope check.

Heart valve disease is common, serious, but treatable. Statistics show that one in eight people (13 per cent) over the age of 75 are thought to suffer from moderate to severe heart valve disease, which can lead to premature death if left untreated.

Across the week, Croí will be hosting various events including free stethoscope checks to raise awareness of heart valve disease. In addition, a special webinar will take place on September 15th with expert speakers on heart valve disease. The webinar will discuss the early signs and symptoms of heart valve disease and members of the public will have the opportunity to put their questions to Ms Sarah Early, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at St James’s Hospital in Dublin and a patient who is living with heart valve disease.

Speaking today, Neil Johnson, CEO of Croí, said,

The prevalence of heart valve disease is increasing due to our ageing population… it has been described as ‘the next cardiac epidemic’. To address this, an annual stethoscope check needs to become a matter of routine for everyone over 65 years of age and particularly for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of heart valve disease. As we get older our heart often tries to send us a message and it is so important that we listen to it. Symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness or dizziness can all be signs of heart valve disease and can often go undetected.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you need to ask your doctor for a stethoscope check, and if you are over 65 years old, having an annual stethoscope check could be the first step in the detection of heart valve disease. Our research indicates that most people over 65 years in Ireland are not having regular stethoscope checks when they attend their GP. Even if symptoms are not present, an annual stethoscope for over 65s is a matter of good heart health routine.

Learn more and register now for the Croí webinar on heart valve disease www.croi.ie/valveweek

If you have any queries or concerns in relation to heart valve disease, please don’t hesitate to contact Croí’s free support service, Heartlink West, Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5:30 pm: Call 091-544310 or email healthteam@croi.ie.