Heart Valve Problems


Some heart valve problems are present at birth.  In older adults, heart valve problems may be due to degenerative changes, or “wear and tear” over time, as well as a consequence of other medical conditions. 

Heart valve problems can be caused by:

  • The normal wear and tear of aging
  • Damage to your heart tissue from a heart attack, coronary artery disease, or heart failure
  • Rheumatic heart disease caused by rheumatic fever
  • Buildup of calcium or fat deposits on your heart valves
  • Thinning or tearing of the supporting tissues around the valve
  • Holes that develop in a valve due to high blood pressure or kidney disease
  • Certain types of connective tissue diseases (the building blocks of skin, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones) more commonly affect the heart valves


Last Updated July 2020