Apr 26, 2023

The signs — and sounds — of aortic stenosis

Get to know the symptoms of one of the most serious and common heart valve problems 

Your heart’s job is to supply oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. It does that by pumping blood through four heart chambers with the help of four heart valves that open and close with every heartbeat.

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But sometimes heart valves don’t work like they should. Aortic stenosis might be to blame.

Severe aortic stenosis prevents your aortic valve leaflets from opening and closing properly. This makes your heart work harder to pump blood to the rest of your body. A diseased valve affects your health and limits your daily activities.

Up to 1.6 million Americans over age 65 have severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, and without valve replacement, as few as half survive beyond two years.1

That’s why knowing the symptoms is critically important. Symptoms of severe aortic stenosis include, but may not be limited, to:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat

A heart with aortic stenosis even sounds different than a healthy heart. Listen to these heart beats recorded by the University of Washington Department of Medicine.

This is a normal heart.

And this is a heart with aortic stenosis.

For more information about aortic stenosis, check out this online toolkit.

  1. Owens DS, Bartz TM, Buzkova P, et al. Cumulative burden of clinically significant aortic stenosis in community-dwelling older adults. Heart. 2021;107:1493-1502.


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