Ohio State Recognizes Aortic Awareness Day, Shedding Light on Silent Killer

Paul Colgan’s brush with fate two years ago shed light on a silent but deadly threat: aortic disease. His fainting episode led to a diagnosis of bicuspid aortic valve disease, a congenital heart defect that sparked his journey into awareness and advocacy. Now, on Ohio’s Aortic Aneurysm Awareness Day, he joins others in raising awareness about this often-overlooked condition.

Established three years ago, Aortic Awareness Day serves as a platform to educate the public about the dangers of aortic disease. Dr. Jovan Bozinovski, a cardiac surgeon at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, underscores the significance of this day in highlighting the importance of understanding and addressing aortic health issues.

Aortic disease primarily affects the aorta, the crucial artery responsible for carrying blood and oxygen from the heart. When the aorta becomes enlarged and develops an aneurysm, the risk of rupture or tear increases, posing a grave threat to life. Despite its potentially fatal consequences, aortic aneurysms often go unnoticed, earning them the moniker of a “silent killer.”

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention underscore the severity of the issue, with nearly 10,000 deaths attributed to aortic aneurysms in 2019 alone. Factors such as family history and lifestyle choices can contribute to the development of this condition, making awareness and early detection vital in preventing catastrophic outcomes.

Fortunately, aortic aneurysms are detectable through imaging tests like CT scans. Early identification allows for timely intervention, enabling healthcare professionals to closely monitor the condition and implement appropriate treatment strategies.

For individuals like Paul Colgan, prompt medical intervention can be life-saving. Following open-heart surgery to address his aortic aneurysm, Colgan experienced a successful recovery and now enjoys an active lifestyle. His journey serves as a testament to the importance of proactive healthcare and self-awareness in safeguarding heart health.

As Ohio State commemorates Aortic Awareness Day, Colgan encourages others to prioritize their heart health and heed warning signs. With symptoms often subtle or overlooked, he emphasizes the importance of seeking medical attention and staying attuned to one’s body.

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In advocating for heart health awareness, Colgan emphasizes the role of support networks and prompt medical care in overcoming the challenges posed by aortic disease. By sharing his story and urging others to prioritize heart health, he hopes to empower individuals to take control of their well-being and prevent the silent killer from claiming more lives.

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