Heart Murmur

What Is It?

A heart murmur is a sound made by turbulent blood flow within the heart. Your doctor hears this sound with a stethoscope. A murmur can occur in a normal heart. Or it may indicate some problem within the heart.

Most often, the turbulence is normal. And the sound is called a benign flow murmur. It happens when blood flows faster through the heart, for example in a person who is anxious, has just finished exercising, has a high fever or has severe anemia. About 10% of adults and 30% of children (most between the ages of 3 and 7) have a harmless murmur produced by a normal heart. This type of murmur is also called an innocent murmur.

A heart murmur may indicate a structural abnormality of a heart valve or heart chamber, or it may be due to an abnormal connection between two parts of the heart. Some abnormalities of the heart that create heart murmurs include:

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