European Heart Failure Awareness Day 6th May 2016

European Heart Failure Awareness Day, the platform to launch “Keep It Pumping”

The “Keep It Pumping” campaign was officially launched today, European Heart Failure Awareness Day, to raise awareness of heart failure and the importance of recognising heart failure symptoms. The event which is being held in Dundrum Town Centre from the 6th – 8th May, is supported by The Heartbeat Trust and Croí and sponsored by Novartis.

Heart failure is a serious condition affecting 90,000 people in Ireland2. There are another 160,000 people living with impending heart failure2. Heart failure causes up to three times as many deaths as advanced cancers like bowel and breast cancer and is the number one reason for hospitalisation in the over 65s3,4,5. Despite all of this heart failure awareness is worryingly low1. One in three Irish people mistake heart failure symptoms with the normal signs of aging1. One in four Irish people wait a week or more to seek medical advice when experiencing symptoms of heart failure1. Fewer than one in 10 people can identify three common symptoms of heart failure1 and these Irish figures emphasise how important it is for the public to learn more about the condition.

The “Keep It Pumping” campaign aims to raise awareness of heart failure and its symptoms. We are encouraging people to donate their heartbeats in support of heart failure awareness. The “Keep It Pumping” app is available to download for free and lets you record and save your “heartbeat”. It also aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of heart failure and encourages people to seek medical advice if they or a family member are experiencing these symptoms. Common symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, low energy, swelling of the feet and ankles and coughing/wheezing6.

In addition the Heart Failure Patient Alliance, founded by the Heartbeat Trust and Croí, is launching comprehensive heart failure education materials to support people who are living with heart failure and their carers, with the support of Novartis. This includes; practical advice on living with heart failure, helpful tips and advice from Irish people living with heart failure, their families, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and dieticians.

Professor Ken McDonald, Consultant Cardiologist, Medical director of The Heartbeat Trust and National Clinical Lead for Heart Failure, said; “Education plays a huge role in disease prevention and management. The burden of heart failure is enormous from both societal and economic perspectives. Everyone needs to be better informed about heart failure: from symptoms and prevalence, to consequences and what can be done about it. Our aim is to help to reduce the burden of heart failure through the provision of educational material. To access this material visit www.heartbeat-trust.ie or www.croi.ie/heart-failure-resources.”

Neil Johnson, CEO, Croí said; “It is important that people can recognise heart failure symptoms and if suffering from them speak to their GP at their next appointment. The most common symptoms of heart failure are; shortness of breath or trouble breathing, fatigue, swollen feet or ankles.”

Loretto Callaghan, Managing Director, Novartis Ireland said, “Research conducted by Novartis in Ireland clearly shows that the awareness of health failure symptoms, is worryingly low, with most people mistaking the symptoms to be signs of aging. The only way we can start to tackle and manage the condition, is by raising awareness and uniting to improve the lives of those living with it.”

“Novartis is proud to support the Keep It Pumping campaign to help people identify symptoms of heart failure early, so they can act immediately to ensure that they will have an earlier diagnosis leading to better outcomes. For people already diagnosed with heart failure we are delighted to support the Heart Failure Patient Alliance to bring education and support to patients and their carers ensuring they are empowered and informed enough to manage their condition effectively.”

More information on heart failure and access to the heart failure educational materials visit https://www.croi.ie/heart-failure-resources and http://heartbeat-trust.ie/


References:

  1. TNS UK Limited, March 2014. Survey of 11,000 members of the public aged 50+ years old in Europe, funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. 7. Irish Heart Foundation, Step by step through
  2. Department of Health and Children. Changing Cardiovascular Health. National Cardiovascular Health Policy 2010-2019. Dublin: Government Publications, 2010.
  3. Stewart et al. More ‘malignant’ than cancer? Five-year survival following a first admission for heart failure Eur J Heart Fail. 2001;3:315322
  4. Zannad F. et al, Heart failure burden and therapy, Europace 2009, 11; v1-v9
  5. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2009 (http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/factsandfigures/2009/pdfs/FF_2009_ex…)
  6. Heart Failure http://www.irishheart.ie/media/pub/patient_booklets/step_by_step_through…. Accessed August 2013
European Heart Failure Awareness Day 6th May 2016