Patients with valvular heart disease have a malfunction of one or more of these valves.
The Causes and risk factors
Problems with heart valves may occur as a result of infection, degeneration, orcongenital abnormality. The most common infections are rheumatic fever and infective endocarditis.
The best prevention for rheumatic fever is prompt and thorough treatment of any suspected streptococcal infection, particularly strep throat in children. Throat culture, an antibiotic treatment ensures the infection is eliminated.
Those born with a defective heart valve and those with artificial (prosthetic) valves, or those who have had a valve scarred by rheumatic fever, should use prescribed antibiotics by mouth before and after a dental procedure. These patients may also need to receive injected antibiotics prior to procedures involving the bladder, prostate, and pelvic organs.
Other valvular heart disease
The mitral and aortic valves may also be affected by deposits of calcium in the heart that occurs with aging. This can lead to thickening and leakage of heart valves. Heart attacks can also damage the mitral valve structures. Additionally, certain connective tissue disorders can adversely affect the heart valves, for example, Marfan’s syndrome and myxomatous degeneration.