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Heart diagram 1

Valvular heart disease (VHD) is the name given to any malfunction or abnormality of one or more of the heart’s four valves. In a normally functioning heart, valves keep blood flowing in the right direction and entering or leaving the heart’s chambers only at the right time.

VHD can develop before birth (congenital), be caused as a result of the effects of certain infections, or by age-related “wear and tear”. However, symptoms vary from person to person and are usually not apparent until the disease is significant and requires medical or surgical treatment.

For further information please refer to our Mild Valve Disease Leaflet (PDF).

Also see the British Heart Foundation website.