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Are You at Risk for Valve Disease?

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 5 million Americans have a heart valve abnormality, which puts them at greater risk for developing valvular heart disease (VHD). However, hundreds of thousands more could be at risk for VHD and not even know it. If left unchecked, at-risk individuals may develop VHD, which often does not present with any symptoms, until irreversible heart damage has occurred.

The good news is early detection is a simple process at Hoag Heart Valve Center. The center provides streamlined access through a one-stop diagnostic center where patients receive a cardiovascular consultation, advanced imaging studies and a surgical consultation, if necessary, in one convenient location. In addition, Hoag’s valvular heart disease educators help to empower patients with the important information and resources necessary to proactively take control of their heart health.

Risk Factors for Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular Heart Disease was one thought to only be a condition that results from rheumatic fever, however it is now know that VHD is also linked to other conditions and risk factors, including:

  • Congential heart disorders
  • Family history of heart valve disorders/disease
  • Valve damage as a result of chemical agents (such as Phen-Fen, Ergot)
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Previous infection of the heart valve (endocarditis)
  • Advancing age (an individual’s risk for VHD increases with age)
  • Individuals with symptoms of VHD (see below)

Symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease

Symptoms of heart valve disease, when they do occur, may include shortness of breath, severe swelling, heart palpatations, chest pain, fainting, frequent falls, fatigue and/or decreased endurance.

Again, because VHD often does not manifest itself with symptoms, until significant heart damage has occurred, it’s important to see a cardiologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disorders, such as the experts at Hoag Heart Valve Center.

Seniors age 65 and older may qualify to receive a heart valve screening at no cost – click here for details.

Hoag’s Top Rated Valvular Heart Disease Program

Hoag Heart Valve Center is one of a handful of clinics nationwide dedicated to state-of-the-art screening, diagnosis and treatment of valvular heart disease. Learn more about Hoag’s top rated valvular heart disease program: (the following link to Valve Disease Overview page)

To schedule an appointment, or learn about Hoag Heart Valve Center’s state-of-the-art early detection program for valvular heart disease, call 949-764-VALVE (8258).