Recent Blog Articles
Cancer survivors' sleep is affected long after treatment
Do I have to yell so much?
What to do when elective surgery is postponed
What happened to trusting medical experts?
Stuttering in children: How parents can help
Icy fingers and toes: Poor circulation or Raynaud’s phenomenon?
Evoking calm: Practicing mindfulness in daily life helps
Finding balance: 3 simple exercises to steady your steps
Boosting your child’s immune system
Study: No effect on cognitive functioning from treatments for advanced prostate cancer
Updated advice for people with heart valve disease
With expanded options for replacing stiff or leaky heart valves, more people can avoid surgery.
The heart's four valves open and shut in a carefully timed sequence to move blood through and out of the heart to the body. But as people age, these one-way valves may narrow and stiffen — a problem known as stenosis — which partially limits blood flow. Heart valves can also leak, allowing blood to flow backward; that's called regurgitation.
About one in 10 adults ages 65 and older has moderate to severe heart valve disease. Without timely diagnosis and treatment (see "Monitoring heart valve disease"), valve problems can worsen, causing serious and sometimes fatal consequences. The good news: More people who need a new heart valve can get one without major surgery.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!