Heart Valve Problems and Causes

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Any heart problem can seem overwhelming at first; but recovery statistics are very good for people who receive proper treatment.

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View our heart valve animations library.

If you’re seeking to better understand a heart valve problem, you may want to learn more about the possible link between a heart murmur and eventual valve disease. Not all heart murmurs lead to later problems, so it’s good to understand why some are considered to be "innocent murmurs".

On the pages featured at the right, you’ll find articles and helpful media to educate those affected by valve disease.

  • If your valve is too narrow or doesn’t allow enough blood to flow through it, visit stenosis to learn more about the condition and why it develops.
  • Mitral valve prolapse affects many people and although it can be considered harmless, prolapsed valves can sometimes start to leak.
  • Leaky valves are often referred to as “regurgitant valves” or by the condition known as valve regurgitation.
  • Although many valve problems develop because of age-related factors, sometimes valve conditions develop due to illnesses, such as rheumatic fever (PDF) and infective endocarditis.

Heart Valve Quiz 1 banner Heart Valves 102 Quiz banner

Valve Stenosis: When a Heart Valve is Too Narrow

Valve Regurgitation: When a Heart Valve Leaks

Heart Murmurs and Valve Problems


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The Edwards Lifesciences Foundation sponsors the AHA’s Heart Valve Education Center and Ambassador Program: Heart Valve Disease.