Heart Valve Disease

Heart valve disease prevention and care

Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute can help you determine if your heart murmur signals an underlying heart valve problem and, if so, your best options for treating it and living a long and healthy life.

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Provider listening to patient's heart

What is heart valve disease? 

Heart valve disease occurs when any valve in the heart stops functioning correctly and interferes with your circulation. A valve that does not close completely, for instance, can cause blood to leak backward. Another common condition is “stenosis,” or a narrowing and stiffening of a valve that prevents it from opening fully.

Causes and risk factors 

Heart valve disease may result from a congenital heart defect, such as a malformed valve, or develop with age as the function of the heart muscle deteriorates. It can also be caused by infections like rheumatic disease or endocarditis, which can scar a heart valve. Other risk factors include:

Symptoms of heart valve disease 

You may not notice symptoms of heart valve disease until the condition is advanced, in which case you could suddenly experience symptoms, including:

  • Heart murmur
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat


Because damaged valves impair circulation, they can lead to serious health problems. They may also cause your heart to pump harder, which can lead to heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest.

Types of Heart Valve Diseases

Heart Valve Treatment