1 in 4 ‘Healthy’ Seniors Has Undetected Heart Valve Disease, Study Finds

Many seemingly healthy people over 60 may actually have undiagnosed heart valve disease, researchers find, but the majority of cases appear to be mild.

Many seemingly ‘healthy’ people over the age of 60 may actually have undetected heart valve disease.

In a new study, 4,200 symptom-free seniors underwent echocardiograms or cardiac ultrasounds, and the results showed 28% of them had heart valve disease.

The lead author says that while the number of undiagnosed cases was high, it was reassuring that the majority were mild.

He says, “The data also indicated that age was the main factor associated with these heart valve problems, meaning that the older a person is, the higher their chance of having a significant valve issue.” 

The condition occurs when one or more of your four valves is leaky, too narrow or doesn’t open properly. This puts extra strain on the heart and can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and other conditions such as arrhythmia and high blood pressure in the lungs.

Symptoms of heart valve disease include shortness of breath, chest pain, feeling weak or dizzy, swollen ankles and feet, and chest palpitations. 

 Source: European Heart Journal

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