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:

  • 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
Jun. 08, 2012

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