Valve Science Center

Patient Resources

Heart valve disease is a public health epidemic affecting as many as 11 million Americans. It’s crucial that you recognize the risks and symptoms and seek treatment when necessary.

The good news for people with heart valve disease is that today, there are more and less risky treatment options than were available than in the past.

Listen to patient John Unger tell his patient story, alongside wife, Barbara.

The Facts Are In:

♥ Heart valve disease (HVD) involves damage to one or more of the heart’s valves. This can reduce blood flow and lead to major complications — including death.

♥ Fewer than 1 in 4 adults know somewhat or a great deal about heart valve disease and 30% of people over age 65 know nothing about heart valve disease.

♥ Yet more than 11 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have heart valve disease, and more than 25,000 Americans die from heart valve disease every year.

♥ 1 in 10 people age 75+ are estimated to have moderate to severe HVD.

♥ Symptoms can be difficult to detect and are too often dismissed as a “normal” part of aging. This makes raising awareness about the disease critical.

*Facts from Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

Learn more about heart valve disease

Read the answers to some frequently asked questions about heart valve disease below. 

What is heart valve disease?

Heart valve disease is an abnormality, typically from aging, involving one or more of the four valves of the heart that move blood through the body. When disease is present, heart failure can occur.

 

What are common heart valve conditions?

Aortic Stenosis

Your aortic valve is on the left side of the heart, moving blood from the lungs to the rest of your body along with the mitral valve.

Learn more about Aortic Stenosis >>

 

Mitral Stenosis

Your mitral valve is on the left side of the heart, moving blood from the lungs to the rest of your body along with the aortic valve.

Learn more about Mitral Stenosis >>

Mitral Regurgitation

Your mitral valve is on the left side of the heart, moving blood from the lungs to the rest of your body along with the aortic valve.

Learn more about Mitral Regurgitation >>

 

Tricuspid Regurgitation

Your tricuspid valve is on the right side of the heart, moving blood from the heart to the lungs.

Learn more about Tricuspid Regurgitation >>

How do I know if something is wrong with my heart valves?

Common symptoms are shortness of breath, loss of energy, weakness, dizziness or fainting spells, and chest pain or pressure. If you have experienced any of these, see your care provider for a checkup or seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms are severe. The described symptoms may be due to other conditions, but heart valve disease could be one of them.

 

How will my doctor check my heart valves?
Your care provider will do a physical exam. If the provider finds a problem during the exam, they will order an echocardiogram (a sonogram of your heart) in order to take a closer look at your heart valves.

 

How is MHIF advancing research to benefit patients?
MHIF is leading conducting cutting-edge research and implementing education programs to benefit patients across the world.

Some accolades: 

  • First transcatheter mitral valve replacement in the U.S.
  • First in-human therapy of severe mitral annular calcification
  • First-in-human therapy of tricuspid regurgitation with the TriClip
  • First-in-human therapy with the MyoCor device for treatment of mitral regurgitation
  • First-in-human therapy of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with MitraClip

 

Could I benefit from participating in a clinical research study?

When you choose to participate in MHIF research, you may be eligible for therapies that are not yet widely available. Every research study comes with its own unique risks and benefits; the study team will ensure you’re provided with all the information you need to decide if participating is right for you.

If you or someone you know is affected by heart valve disease, contact us today for more information on available studies. Email us at: valve@mhif.org

Valve Awareness Day

View presentations from cardiologists about valve heart disease that were captured at our 2020 Valve Awareness Day event.

Dr. João Cavalcante presents “What is Heart Valve Disease?”

Dr. Mario Gössl discusses the crisis of heart valve disease

Dr. Robert Steffen discusses cardiac surgery

Dr. Santiago Garcia discusses new transcatheter aortic valve treatments and embolic prevention 

Dr. Mario Gössl shares innovative approaches to mitral and tricuspid valve treatments

Real Patient Stories

Learn how other people with heart valve disease (HVD) regained the lifestyle they wanted. 

I feel great joy and gratitude over the relatively small, and seemingly miraculous, procedure that has significantly extended my life.

Read Dave’s Story >>

I feel like I’m doing something good for other people, not just myself, and if participating in research has the potential to help, it’s worth it.

Read Stephanie’s Story >>

 

The Valve Science Center is committed to improving the quality of life for those living with heart valve disease

 

MHIF established the Valve Science Center to improve outcomes for patients with heart valve disease. The Center will allow researchers to:

 

1

Study and gain insight into the barriers to care for undertreated populations of heart valve disease patients

2

Design, develop and implement novel guideline-based patient care pathways

3

Expand the delivery of high-quality, state-of-the-art care for heart valve patients

4

Educate the public on the needs of this patient population and opportunities for improvement in care

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