What is valvular heart disease?
Valvular heart disease is characterized by damage to or a defect in one of the heart valves. Normally functioning valves ensure that blood flows with proper force in the proper direction at the proper time. In valvular heart disease, the valves become too narrow and hardened (stenotic) to open fully, or are unable to close completely (insufficiency).
What are the symptoms of valvular heart disease?
Patients can have no symptoms but have valve disease. When symptoms occur, they are similar to those associated with heart failures, such as shortness of breath, swelling of the feet, chest pain, or palpitations.
Is anyone concerned about valvular heart disease?
Valvular heart diseases are frequent conditions as populations are getting older. It has an average prevalence of 2.5% but rises sharply with age, going from 0.3% for people aged from 18 to 44 years and going to 10% for people over 65.