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Your health can change


Millions of people over 65 have heart valve disease. Half don’t even know it. Are you at risk?

Elderly man researching heart valve disease on his tablet.

Are you at risk for


Elderly woman discussing an echocardiogram with her doctor.

Your heart health matters


The risk of heart valve disease increases with age. Make an echocardiogram (echo) part of your regular checkups if you’re over the age of 65.

What is heart
valve disease?

You probably are somewhat familiar with the term heart disease, but most people have never heard of heart valve disease. Heart valve disease is a condition in which one or more of your heart valves don’t work properly, making it more difficult for blood to flow through your body. For some, heart valve disease can become very serious and, if not treated, it can be deadly.

There are different types of heart valve disease, all of which get worse over time. There is no way to prevent heart valve disease, but there are options for treatment. If left untreated, it will continue to worsen and may even lead to death.

Understand heart valve disease

Know if you’re at risk for heart valve disease

It’s not always easy to tell if you have heart valve disease. If you know the causes of heart valve disease and what puts you at risk, you’re one step closer to getting answers.

Screening for heart valve disease


The only way to know if you have heart valve disease is to get your heart screened. You can ask your doctor to refer you to get an echocardiogram (echo), which is a noninvasive ultrasound of the heart.

Learn more about echos

Questions about heart valve disease?

Check out our FAQs for answers to these questions and more, all in one place.

How do I know if I have heart valve disease?

There are many different tests to check for heart valve disease, but one of the most accurate ways is with an echocardiogram, a painless heart ultrasound. Use our discussion guide or telehealth guide to ask your doctor about symptoms, risk factors, and getting tested.

What can put me at risk of heart valve disease?

There’s no one cause of heart valve disease, but it’s important to know what can put you at risk:

  • Older age–people 65 and older are at a significantly higher risk
  • Family history of heart disease or heart valve disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Personal history of heart conditions or heart infections
  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other heart disease risk factors
  • Heart conditions since birth (congenital heart disease)

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How is heart valve disease different from heart disease?

Heart disease, also known as “cardiovascular disease,” is a general term for all heart conditions. Heart valve disease is a specific condition that many people aren’t aware of, which is why it’s so important to talk to your doctor if you have symptoms or are over 65.

Have you talked to your doctor about heart valve disease?

Use these tools to help start a conversation with your doctor or to find a location for a heart screening.

Discussion Guide

Our full discussion guide can help you talk about heart valve disease and your symptoms with your doctor during in-person appointments.

Download our discussion guide

Find a Doctor

Use this Healthgrades® tool to find a doctor in your area who can screen your heart for heart valve disease.

Find a Doctor

Edwards Lifesciences does not endorse or recommend any particular physician and search results do not include a comprehensive list of doctors in your area.

Next Section

What’s the difference between a healthy heart valve and an unhealthy one?