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What are the effects of mitral valve regurgitation?

Mitral valve regurgitation is a problem that affects an estimated four million Americans. It can lead to fatigue, symptoms of congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation and an increased risk of stroke and sudden death.

In the heart, the mitral valve has two leaflets that act like doorways between the left atrium and left ventricle, which provide oxygenated blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. As the heart pumps, the valve opens and shuts. But if the valve does not close completely, blood flows backward into the heart. The ventricle becomes overworked and, over time, weakens.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.