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Causes Of Valve Disease

Heart valve disease may be caused by:

  • rheumatic fever, an immune response triggered by streptococcal bacteria, which can damage the heart valves and heart muscle. In our country this the commonest cause of heart valve disease
  • bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, including the valves
  • stretching of the valve due to weakness of its tissue
  • abnormality of the valve and chor­dae, which can cause regurgitation
  • a build-up of calcium on the valve, often due to age or structural abnormality of the valve
  • coronary artery disease and heart attack, which can affect the papillary muscles
  • a congenital defect – for example, one person in every 400 is born with an aortic valve that has two leaflets, instead of the normal three.