CARDIOVASCULAR
hamburger

 

Heart valve disease develops if one or more of your heart’s four valves is not working properly.

One study in England alone, the OxVALVE study that examined people age 65 and older, found that 11.3% of the people had moderate or severe valve disease. A concerning finding was that most of those people, 6.4%, did not know they had heart valve disease.1

Moreover, a survey of people in Europe found that 30% didn’t know anything at all about heart valve disease.2 Clearly, education about heart valve disease is important since it can affect you or a loved one.

To learn about heart valves and how they function, it’s a good idea to first review the parts of the heart overall.

THE CHAMBERS OF YOUR HEART 

The heart has four chambers. The atria are the smaller chambers on the top, and the ventricles are the larger chambers on the bottom.

Right atrium receives blood from the body that is low in oxygen.

Right ventricle pumps that low-oxygen blood to the lungs, where the blood is filled with oxygen.

Left atrium receives the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs.

Left ventricle pumps that oxygen-rich blood out to the entire body.

THE VALVES OF YOUR HEART

To move blood into or out of the four chambers, the heart has four valves.

Tricuspid valve allows oxygen-depleted blood to flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle.

Pulmonary valve allows blood to flow from the right ventricle to the lungs, where the blood receives oxygen.

Mitral valve allows oxygen-rich blood to flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle.

Aortic valve allows the oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle out to the entire body.

heart valves

Blue areas = oxygen-poor blood

Red areas = oxygen-rich blood

PROPER FUNCTION OF HEART VALVES

When they are working properly, the heart valves function in a regular, rhythmic way, opening and closing with each heartbeat.

It’s important that the valves allow blood to flow in just one direction. Therefore the valves should always:

  • Open fully so that the right amount of blood can pass through
  • Close tightly so that no blood leaks back into the heart chamber it comes from

WHY HEART VALVE PROBLEMS OCCUR

Heart valve problems can develop as a result of birth defects, age-related changes in the valve, certain infections, or other health conditions.

Other pages will explain more about heart valve disease.

LEARN MORE FROM OTHER SOURCES

You can also find out more about heart valve disease from well-regarded sources such as:

Heart Valve Day EU—which has links to information in other European countries

https://heartvalveday.eu/a-lack-of-awareness/

Heart Valve Voice

https://www.heartvalvevoice.com/



References

1. d’Arcy JL, Coffey S, Loudon MA, et al. Large-scale community echocardiographic screening reveals a major burden of undiagnosed valvular heart disease in older people: the OxVALVE Population Cohort Study. Eur Heart J. 2016;37:3515–3522.
2. European Heart Valve Disease. https://heartvalveday.eu/a-lack-of-awareness/. Accessed February 11, 2019.

The information provided is not intended for medical diagnosis or treatment as a substitute for professional advice. Consult with a physician or qualified healthcare provider for appropriate medical advices.

AP2946803-WBO Rev. A

You are about to exit the Abbott family of websites for a 3rd party website

Links which take you out of Abbott worldwide websites are not under the control of Abbott, and Abbott is not responsible for the contents of any such site or any further links from such site. Abbott is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement of the linked site by Abbott.


The website that you have requested also may not be optimized for your screen size.

Do you wish to continue and exit this website?

true
accessibility
© 2016 Abbott. All Rights Reserved. Please read the Legal Notice for further details.

Unless otherwise specified, all product and service names appearing in this Internet site are trademarks owned by or licensed to Abbott, its subsidiaries or affiliates. No use of any Abbott trademark, trade name, or trade dress in this site may be made without the prior written authorization of Abbott, except to identify the product or services of the company.

accessibility

You are about to exit the Abbott family of websites for a 3rd party website

Links which take you out of Abbott worldwide websites are not under the control of Abbott, and Abbott is not responsible for the contents of any such site or any further links from such site. Abbott is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement of the linked site by Abbott.


The website that you have requested also may not be optimized for your screen size.

Do you wish to continue and exit this website?