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Checking for heart murmurs
Ask the doctor
Q. My regular doctor detected a possible heart murmur and referred me to a cardiologist. I’m 73 and feel fine, although I’ve noticed that I sometimes get a little winded when I exercise. What should I expect at the cardiologist’s appointment?
A. Let’s start with some basic information. A heart murmur is the sound of turbulent blood flow within the heart as heard through a stethoscope. A normal heartbeat creates the familiar "lub-DUB, lub-DUB" — the sound of the heart’s valves opening and closing. But if the valves aren’t properly formed or are too stiff or too loose, it sounds more like a whooshing or swishing sound.
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