Not all valvular heart disease has a noticeable effect on the body. But, since the heart may need to work harder and become enlarged over time, effects on the body may also increase over time. Heart enlargement can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath and ankle swelling. Eventually, stroke, blood clots, heart failure, and cardiac arrest (heart attack) can result from the increased stress on the circulatory system.
Aland R. Fernandez, MD
- interventional cardiology
Location and Office HoursClearwater Cardiovascular & Interventional Consultants
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
- AvMed Health
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- Mease Dunedin Hospital
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- How does valvular heart disease affect the body?
Can children suffer heart failure?
Yes, in some cases the heart problems that a child is born with or develops after birth can lead to heart failure - the inability of the heart to meet the body’s needs for oxygen.
A variety of heart, valve and blood vessel abnormalities can cause the heart to become inefficient. This can weaken the heart’s pumping strength, interrupt the flow of blood, create an abnormal heart rhythm or disrupt the exchange of oxygen from the air with carbon dioxide in the blood. If severe enough, these abnormalities can cause the heart to fail it its job of efficiently moving blood throughout the body.
Are congenital heart defects the same as heart birth defects?
Congenital heart defects are the same as heart birth defects. Both are terms for problems in the heart that occur from the time the baby is growing in the womb. The term congenital simply means that it already existed at birth.
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