The Lebanese Society of Cardiology (LSC), the World Heart Federation (WHF),and AstraZeneca have launched the “Shedding light on your heart health to brighten up your life” campaign to help improve Heart Failure prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in Lebanon through media outreaches and the regional “Your Health is Your Life” Arabic Facebook page 1-5

“It’s vital people learn more about Heart Failure so thoseat risk or living with the disease can reach out to their doctors, especially once they recognize its symptomswhich include shortness of breath, persistent coughing, persistent fatigue and weakness, ankle swelling, and impaired thinking,” said Dr. Malek Mohamad, LSC president, at a campaign launch event which also featured presentations from Dr Tony Abdel Massih, Chairman of the Heart Failure Working Group at the LSC; Dr Hadi Skouri, Heart Failure specialist at the American University of Beirut Medical Center; and Dr Georges Saade, the WHF representative at the LSC.

“This is more and more important as there are noveltreatments that can reduce mortality and hospital admissions; and provide improved quality of life through comprehensive therapy which offers many more event-free years.”6

“Medical advances only materialize into concrete health benefits when all those concerned come together to prevent and treat diseases,” said Dr. Hiba Baroudi, Medical Affairs Head, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism at AstraZeneca Near East & Maghreb. “Weare counting on the media’s support to help alert people at risk of Heart Failure, especially those with symptoms,so they consult with their physicians on how best to prevent, diagnose, and treat their condition.” 

About Heart Failure

Heart Failure is a disease in which the heart cannot pump enough blood around the body.7 It is a chronic and degenerative disease with approximately half of patients dying within five years of diagnosis.8 Despite itsseriousness, common symptoms are not always easily recognised. They include shortness of breath, persistent coughing, persistent fatigue and weakness, ankle swelling, and impaired thinking.9 Public awareness about heart failure and its impact is worryingly low, leading to underdiagnosis, costly hospital admissions, and premature deaths.10

Heart Failure affects approximately 64 million people worldwide11 and can be as life-threatening as some of the most common cancers in both men (prostate and bladder cancer) and women (breast cancer).12 It is the number one cause of hospital admissions among those over 65 years old; and impairs to a great extent the patient’s quality of life as it feels like growing old overnight.13 While Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease and being overweight are key risk factors, Diabetes in particular doubles the risk of developing Heart Failure.