Is mitral valve prolapse a long term danger to my health?
When I was in my late teens (i'm 29 now) my doc said I might have mitral valve prolapse after I wore a heart monitor for a few days. I haven't really had any heart issues lately, but is this condition dangerous to my health for the rest of my life?
Mitral valve prolapse is a very common heart condition, which probably affects up to 2-3% of otherwise healthy, asymptomatic young people. Basically, in this condition, the mitral valve, which sits in the left side of the heart, has some extra tissue in it which causes it to bulge upwards when the heart contracts. Most commonly, this is picked up on a general physical when a doctor hears an extra 'clicking sound' in the heart caused by the bulging upwards of the valve. Mitral valve prolapse is not, in and of itself, a disease. The condition bears watching, because sometimes it may lead to mitral regurgitation, or leaking of the mitral valve, something which may need to be treated. In the meantime, however, all you need to do is make sure you have regular checkups with your doctor. If you develop any heart related symptoms, such as chest pain, palpitations, dizziness or passing out, or trouble with exercise, you should mention those symptoms right away to your doctor, who may decide to perform additional tests. In the past, there was thought that people with mitral valve prolapse needed antibiotics prior to going to see the dentist. However, this is no longer thought to be necessary.