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Queen Latifah asks America, “What The HF” to raise awareness about signs, symptoms of heart failure

Learn how to recognize and manage HF, a dangerous, chronic condition affecting more than 6.5 million Americans

American Heart AssociationDallas, TX – Heart failure (HF) kills thousands of people each year. But, the chronic, progressive condition can be managed if it’s diagnosed and treated early.

The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, is making it easy for people to test their heart failure knowledge while learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of HF through a new interactive quiz that asks, “What The HF”

Queen Latifah. (American Heart Association)
Queen Latifah. (American Heart Association)

The quiz is the latest addition to the Rise Above Heart Failure initiative, launched in 2015 by the Association. Rise Above Heart Failure is nationally supported by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

“What the HF” is a new, interactive, digital call to action to educate everyone on how to spot symptoms of HF in themselves and their loved ones and what to do about them.

To get involved in the Rise Above Heart Failure initiative:

  • Get started: Find the quiz at RiseAboveHF.org
  • Get smart: Take the “What the HF” quiz
  • Get social: Share the quiz with 5 people you love, in recognition of the 1 in 5 Americans who will develop HF sometime in their lives, so they can ask “What the HF” too.

Award-winning actress, singer, songwriter and television producer Queen Latifah, the spokesperson for the Rise Above Heart Failure campaign, knows first-hand the importance of understanding the symptoms and treatment for heart failure. She’s the primary caregiver for her mother, Rita Owens, who is living with the condition.

“My mom’s heart failure diagnosis was a shock to our family,” Queen Latifah said. “We thought she was just getting older and we didn’t know heart failure’s signs or symptoms. I’m challenging Americans to join me in taking our new ‘What The HF?’ quiz on RiseAboveHF.org. In caring for my mom, I’ve found knowledge is power when it comes to managing her health and this is an easy way to learn more and share with others. And, if you recognize any of the symptoms in yourself or a loved one, talk to your doctor right away.”

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart can’t pump blood efficiently enough to meet the body’s needs. More than 6.5 million Americans are living with HF and more than 308,000 people die from it each year. One in five people will have heart failure in their lifetime with nearly a million new cases diagnosed each year.

But, the condition is manageable if it’s diagnosed early. Making sure patients and their families recognize symptoms and talk to a doctor to get on an appropriate treatment plan is critical.

“Awareness is a key to battling heart failure in the U.S.,” said Kathy Magliato, M.D., AHA spokesperson and cardiothoracic surgeon in Los Angeles. “With projections showing more than 8 million people will be living with heart failure within the next decade, it’s worrisome that patients and their caregivers often don’t understand what they need to know to prevent, detect and manage heart failure.”

Heart failure symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath,
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing,
  • Buildup of excess fluid in body tissues (edema),
  • Fatigue,
  • Lack of appetite or nausea,
  • Impaired thinking, or
  • Increased heart rate

Additional Resources:

  • Rise Above Heart Failure, at http://www.riseabovehf.org/, is aimed at changing the course of heart failure through awareness, education and support.

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