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The Silent Epidemic
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Raising Awareness of the 'Silent Epidemic' – Heart Failure

Learn more on the Heart Failure Society of America websiteAre you suffering from:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • obesity?

Have you had a heart attack or damage to your heart valves?

Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital wants you to know that you could be one of the 5 million people suffering from heart failure.

The Heart Failure Society of America was instrumental in having the week of Valentine's Day declared as National Heart Failure Awareness Week by the U.S. Senate in 2000.

Heart failure is not a heart attack. Rather it is a common – but frequently underrecognized – progressive condition in which the heart muscles weaken and gradually lose ability to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs.

Heart failure sometimes is called the "silent epidemic" because symptoms often are mistaken as signs of "just getting older." Common symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, ankle swelling and chest congestion.

Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital was the first hospital in Texas to become accredited as a Heart Failure Institute by the Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium. The accreditation is based on proficiency in managing heart failure, placing emphasis on both quantity and quality of life.

For more information on heart failure and treatment options, please visit:

What is heart failure? 

Heart failure patient services at THI at St. Luke's (St. Luke's website)

See also on this website:

Patient Care information for Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's (Atención al paciente én español)

Updated February 2012
Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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