67-year old local hopes to complete 1,500-mile bike ride from Newcastle to Marbella after lifesaving heart surgery
Ian Wintrip

Ian Wintrip, a 74-year old dental surgeon from Bishop Auckland, first noticed something wasn’t quite right when he was out cycling on a particularly hilly trip, feeling that he run out of steam early.

This was originally put down as to “hitting the wall” or poor body preparation. But as time went by, Ian knew something was up. His GP detected a heart murmur, an indication of heart valve disease, and referred him to a cardiologist for a minimally invasive treatment (TAVI).

Ian’s next big plan is to build up his strength and eventually cycle to Marbella and spend a few weeks in the Spanish sun.

“That plan has been hampered by the virus but that will relent and when it does, I’ll be ready and waiting with my bike!”

Heart valve disease is a serious condition, affecting more than 1.5 million people in the UK over the age of 65. In fact, more than half of patients with severe aortic stenosis die within two years of developing symptoms. Early detection is vital and can be achieved via a simple stethoscope check.

This Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week, the charity Heart Valve Voice are calling for annual stethoscope checks for all over 65s as a newly released survey found:

  • 1 in 3 (31.7%) of older people from Newcastle reported never receiving a stethoscope check during routine health checks
  • 98% of older people from Newcastle aren’t aware of aortic stenosis, the most common form of heart valve disease.
  • Few older people from Newcastle would seek medical help if they felt some of the key symptoms of heart valve disease such as fatigue (25%), reduced physical activity (23%) and feeling older than your age (15%)
  • Two thirds of surveyed people from Newcastle say that heart valve disease symptoms would prevent them from undertaking physical activities (60%), engaging in sexual relations (34%), or working/volunteering (33%) suggesting a significant impact on day-to-day life

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