There aren't any risk factors for developing an innocent heart murmur.
There are risk factors that increase your chance of having an underlying condition that can cause a heart murmur from birth. These include:
- Family history of a heart defect. If blood relatives have had a heart defect, that increases the likelihood you or your child may also have a heart defect and heart murmur.
- Illnesses during pregnancy. Having some conditions during pregnancy, such as uncontrolled diabetes or a rubella infection, increases your baby's risk of developing heart defects and a heart murmur.
- Taking certain medications or illegal drugs during pregnancy. Use of certain medications, alcohol or drugs can harm a developing baby, leading to heart defects.
Factors that can increase your risk of a heart murmurs later in life include:
Jun. 08, 2012
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension)
- A history of rheumatic fever
- Past radiation treatment involving the chest
- A previous infection of the lining of the heart (endocarditis)
- A past heart attack
- High blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension)
- A weakened heart muscle, which is sometimes caused by a condition known as cardiomyopathy
- Chatterjee K. Auscultation of cardiac murmurs. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Feb. 8, 2012.
- Heart murmur. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartmurmur/printall-index.html. Accessed April 12, 2012.
- Furster V, et al., eds. Hurst's The Heart. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
- Frank JE, et al. Evaluation and management of heart murmurs in children. American Family Physician. 2011;84:793.
- Heart murmurs. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiovascularConditionsofChildhood/Heart-Murmurs_UCM_314208_Article.jsp#.T4evW9Vr7To. Accessed April 13, 2012.
- Cardiovascular examination. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular_disorders/approach_to_the_cardiac_patient/cardiovascular_examination.html. Accessed April 13, 2012.
- Bonno RO, et al. 2008 Focused update incorporated into the ACC/AHA 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease. Circulation. 2008;118:e523.
- Your guide to living well with heart disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/other/your_guide/yg_livingwell.htm. Accessed April 13, 2012.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 1, 2012.
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