Are heart murmurs a heart birth defect?

Heart murmurs are sounds you can hear when the blood is not flowing through the heart normally.  Many are not serious. In some cases, however, the heart murmur may be the result of a heart birth defect. Some abnormality is causing the blood to flow incorrectly, leading to the heart murmur sound.

Not necessarily!! Most heart murmurs are not related to very serious heaart problems. Murmurs heard in adults is almost never related to a birth defect. Childhood heart murmurs are more commonly related to birth defects, but even in the majority of those, it is not that common. A heart murmur is the sound of blood flowing through the heart. It can be normal or abnormal. Iti can be heard by your doctor with a stethoscope, and sometimes warrants further investigation with an echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound). It is best to speak with your physician if you have a history of a heart murmur.
 Dr. Cathy Provins-Churbock, PhD
Critical Care Medicine
No, heart murmurs in and of themselves are not birth defects. Heart murmurs at birth can be a very normal finding. If your neonatal or pediatric specialists hear a heart murmur at birth they will follow the baby closely. If the heart murmur is concerning to the physician he can call in a specialist in pediatric cardiology for further evaluation to see if a structural heart defect does exist.
Diana K. Blythe, MD

Heart murmurs are just noisy or turbulent blood blow through the heart. Almost everyone has a heart murmur at some point in his or her life.

There is even something called an "athlete's murmur" because of noisy blood flow in a very strong and healthy heart. A heart murmur is only a birth defect if it occurs in an abnormal heart.

Not all heart murmurs are associated with a heart defect, and not all heart defects are associated with a murmur. However, heart defects tend to have an associated murmur. Simply put, a heart murmur is blood flow through the heart that is turbulent enough to be heard outside of the heart. The cause of the turbulence could be a major heart defect, but most murmurs are benign. Usually, any defect that affects heart function would also produce the needed turbulence to make a murmur.

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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.