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14th Annual National Heart Failure Awareness Week: February 9-14, 2014

The Heart Failure Society of America encourages patients, families, caregivers and individuals at risk to learn about heart failure prevention and management

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- National Heart Failure Awareness Week is set for February 9-14, 2014. This important week is a time for health care providers to remind patients with heart failure, patients' families, and all others at risk about the signs and symptoms of heart failure. Heart failure affects nearly five million individuals in the United States.

The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) suggests that to combat this dangerous condition, everyone should be aware of early prevention tactics, important lifestyle risks and treatment management options.

"HFSA is committed to educating patients about the common signs and symptoms of heart failure. National Heart Failure Awareness Week is an opportunity to showcase facts, resources and opportunities that can help the public better understand this medical condition," said Dr. Thomas Force, M.D., HFSA President. "Because of National Heart Failure Week, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, patients and their families, and at risk individuals will have the chance to become more informed. Heart failure can be prevented and survival rates can increase with proper care, diagnosis, and effective treatment."

HFSA launched National Heart Failure Awareness Week in 2000 to raise awareness of this life-threatening disease and to encourage at-risk patients to talk about heart failure with their doctors. HFSA was successful in having the US Senate pass a Resolution declaring the week of Valentine's Day National Heart Failure Awareness Week, and having President Bill Clinton sign the resolution marking the official declaration.

HFSA has developed a Heart Failure Awareness Week tool kit at http://www.hfsa.org/hfa_materials.asp to assist providers with resources to plan events or highlight heart failure.  Also see the HFSA Education website, www.abouthf.org, which includes heart failure information, education modules and prevention techniques. The site also includes guidelines and education modules about following a low sodium diet, exercise do's and don'ts, managing medications, heart rhythm problems, and other factors commonly associated with heart failure. The modules are written in easy-to-read language and can be downloaded free of charge.

While not intended to replace regular medical care, these guidelines and modules can help patients and at-risk individuals, family and friends communicate better with their health care provider. 

About Heart Failure
Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened after it is injured, most commonly from heart attack or high blood pressure, and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. Many people are not aware they have heart failure because the symptoms are often mistaken for signs of getting older. Heart failure affects 4.6 to 4.8 million individuals in the United States. Demographic and clinical evidence strongly suggests that the prevalence of heart failure will increase throughout the next decade. Ten to 15 years ago heart failure was considered a "death sentence;" however, recent advances in treatment have shown that early diagnosis and proper care in early stages of the condition are key to slowing, stopping or in some cases reversing progression, improving quality of life, and extending life expectancy. For more information on heart failure, please visit www.abouthf.org.

About the Heart Failure Society of America
Now in its 20th year, the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a nonprofit educational organization, founded in 1994 as the first organized association of heart failure experts. The HFSA provides a forum for all those interested in heart function, heart failure research and patient care. The Society also serves as a resource for governmental agencies (FDA, NIH, NHLBI, CMS). The HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting is designed to highlight recent advances in the development of strategies to address the complex epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic issues of heart failure. Additional information on HFSA can be found at www.hfsa.org.

SOURCE Heart Failure Society of America

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