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New Survey Suggests Confusion, Lack of Awareness About Heart Failure Could Be Preventing Critical Early Detection and Treatment
Date:2/12/2008

- New Patient Educational Program Urges Americans to 'Fight Against Heart

Failure(SM)' -

NEW YORK, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Many U.S. adults are confused about what heart failure is, cannot recognize common heart failure symptoms, and do not understand that heart failure is a manageable condition, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive(R) on behalf of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN), the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) and the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC). This lack of awareness may be a primary reason why heart failure often goes unnoticed -- and untreated -- for so long that patients find themselves gasping for breath in the emergency room before they are diagnosed.

To combat the significant lack of knowledge about heart failure, AAHFN, PCNA and SCPC are launching Fight Against Heart Failure(SM), an educational program that promotes awareness of the symptoms and risk factors of heart failure in an effort to drive early detection and treatment of the pervasive condition, and to advance disease prevention. Fight Against Heart Failure(SM) is sponsored by Scios Inc., which has provided educational grants to AAHFN, PCNA and SCPC to conduct this program.
According to the survey:

-- Less than half of U.S. adults (47 percent) can identify the correct

definition of heart failure, and one in three (32 percent) U.S. adults

mistake heart failure for a heart attack.

-- A majority of adults (74 percent) erroneously believe that chest pain

or discomfort is a common symptom of heart failure.

-- Only a small percentage of adults recognize that unexplained weight

gain/loss (8 percent), and coughing and wheezing (17 percent) are

common heart failure symptoms.

-- When asked what they would do if they experienced common heart failure

symptoms, including swollen ankles
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SOURCE American Association of Heart Failure Nurses
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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