Aortic valve stenosis isn't considered preventable. Some risk factors include:

  • A deformed aortic valve. Some people are born with an already narrowed aortic valve or develop aortic valve stenosis later in life because they were born with a bicuspid aortic valve — one with two flaps (leaflets) instead of three. A bicuspid aortic valve is a major risk factor for aortic valve stenosis. A bicuspid aortic valve can run in families, so knowing your family history is important. If you have a first-degree relative — a parent, sibling or child — with a bicuspid aortic valve, it is reasonable to check to see if you have this abnormality.
  • Age. Aortic valve stenosis may be related to increasing age and the buildup of calcium deposits on heart valves.
  • Previous rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can cause the flaps (leaflets) of your aortic valve to stiffen and fuse, eventually resulting in aortic valve stenosis.

Risk factors for aortic valve stenosis and atherosclerotic heart disease — such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and smoking — may indicate a link between the two.

Jul. 13, 2012

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