Let’s Rise Above Heart Failure Together: An Interview with Dr. Clyde Yancy

Let’s Rise Above Heart Failure Together: An Interview with Dr. Clyde Yancy


– [Voiceover] In the next
15 years the number of Americans suffering from
heart failure is expected to grow by nearly 40%
and the cost of managing it will be more than double. That’s why the American
Heart Association has launched an awareness initiative called Rise Above Heart Failure. Cardiologist Dr. Clyde
Yancy, a past president of the American Heart
Association, joins us now with more. First of all, Doctor,
thank you so much for joining us today. – Thank you, I’m delighted
to be with you today. – [Voiceover] So, Doctor,
can you tell us more about heart failure and its impact? – The American Heart
Association has launched a campaign known as
Rise Above Heart Failure because there’s an
incredible need and a great opportunity to make a difference here. Heart failure is not a
heart attack, it’s any condition where the heart
is not working properly and it leads to symptoms,
like shortness of breath and fatigue. Importantly, it’s ubiquitous. One in five Americans will
develop this condition before they pass on, so
it’s not about somebody else, it’s about all of
us, all of us are at risk. We know that, through
launching this campaign, if we can raise the
awareness, we can drive people to early detection, earlier
treatment, and we can lower the burden of this condition. So Rise Above Heart
Failure is about a very important objective, to
make a big difference in the lives of people
at risk for or those who already have the condition
know as heart failure. – [Voiceover] So Doctor,
what can people do to reduce their risk of heart failure? – One of the important
messages that is embedded in Rise Above Heart
Failure is the message of prevention, so what people
can do to lessen the likelihood of having this
condition is to know your blood pressure. If you have high blood
pressure, get it treated. Know your blood sugar. If you have diabetes,
get that under control. And especially if you’re
overweight; if you have obesity, then by all means
work hard to get your weight to an appropriate threshold. High blood pressure,
obesity, diabetes, those are the risk factors that
are most important in developing this condition. The same can be said, by
the way, for atherosclerosis or hardening of the
arteries, so having these heart-healthy lifestyle
issues and opportunities really matter. It can make a big difference. – [Voiceover] So Doctor,
what are some of the signs and symptoms of heart
failure and what should we do if we notice them? – What’s so important and
what’s so well laid out in Rise Above Heart Failure
is these early warning signs, the symptoms, the
first onset of something that should raise someone’s attention. So things like shortness
of breath, something as subtle as “I just feel
tired” or “I feel tired all the time.” Listlessness, not being
very energetic, they all sound very vague but
once you put them in the context of somebody that
has high blood pressure or previous heart attack,
you begin to appreciate that perhaps this is heart
failure so never dismiss those vague symptoms, always be willing to bring them to the attention
of a healthcare provider. If it’s heart failure, we
can do something positive about that. – [Voiceover] Doctor, talk
a little bit about the initiative and tell us
more where our viewers can get more information. – So Rise Above Heart
Failure is an important campaign, the goals are simple. To raise awareness by
at least 10%, hopefully a lot more, and to reduce
the burden of disease, particularly hospitalizations,
by at least 10% if not a lot more. We have all of this
well-depicted at the website RiseaboveHF.org For general information
about heart disease and heart disease
prevention, stroke prevention as well, Heart.org is a great resource. And then especially
between February 14th and February 20th, Heart
Failure Awareness Week, lots of messaging in
social media, lay press, medical press, to really
help us all understand that we can take failure
out of this equation and we can convert heart
failure into success by raising awareness,
getting people in therapies, the right therapies at
the right time for the right person. We do that, do it well, we
can make a big difference. – [Voiceover] Doctor, can
you tell us more about heart failure and its
impact, particularly among African Americans? – So where all of the
messaging that’s embedded in Rise Above Heart
Failure becomes uniquely and acutely important is
when we’re talking about special populations,
especially African Americans. I’ve studied this
population for over 25 years and have recognized the burden
of this condition that’s embedded within the
African American community. The disease happens at
least 20 years earlier, meaning that it strikes
at peak years of earning and quality of life, family time; this is an unacceptable burden. this is an unacceptable burden. By raising the awareness
of the condition, heart failure, in the African
American community, we can fundamentally change life
and living for a very important segment of the population. Again, it’s about high
blood pressure, it’s about obesity, it’s about
atherosclerosis, it’s about diabetes. If we can get these
messages embedded in the African American community, we can make a really big difference. – [Voiceover] Great information, Doctor. One more time, where
can we send our viewers for more information? – So for more information, please go to RiseaboveHF.org Please go to Heart.org, and pay attention during
Heart Failure Awareness Week, lots of messaging that
will be very beneficial. – [Voiceover] Thank you
very much for joining us today. – Thank you very much.