Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mitral-Valve Prolapse Less Common, Less Harmful Than Previously Thought

Date:
July 2, 1999
Source:
National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute
Summary:
Researchers from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study report that mitral-valve prolapse (MVP), a condition in which a valve in the heart is abnormally long and floppy, is substantially less common and less serious than previously believed.

Researchers from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study report that mitral-valve prolapse (MVP), a condition in which a valve in the heart is abnormally long and floppy, is substantially less common and less serious than previously believed. In a study appearing in the July 1, 1999 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers report that MVP affects about 2 percent of the population rather than the 5 to 35 percent of the population indicated in earlier estimates. And, contradicting earlier studies suggesting that MVP occurs more commonly in women, the researchers found that men and women are equally likely to have the condition. "This is very compelling information," said Dr. Claude Lenfant, Director of the NHLBI, "It may mean people who have been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse should consult their physician to discuss their health status. It also indicates that further, longer-term studies are called for to resolve this issue definitively and to define the natural history of this condition," he said.

Diagnoses of mitral-valve prolapse increased significantly in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the advent of ultrasound technology which, for the first time, enabled doctors to view the mitral valve noninvasively. According to Dr. Emelia Benjamin, the senior investigator, the earlier studies were conducted using M-mode technology, a form of echocardiography, and often resulted in over diagnosis of MVP. This study was undertaken in part because of the availability of newer, more accurate echocardiographic criteria for mitral-valve prolapse developed by co-author Robert A. Levine, MD. The criteria allowed the researchers to address the validity of the diagnosis of mitral-valve prolapse occurring in an alarming proportion of the population.

Using standard echocardiographic equipment along with the new criteria, which minimizes false positive and false negative diagnoses, the researchers evaluated mitral-valve prolapse status in 3,491 participants in the Framingham Heart Study. Of these, 84 (2.4 percent) had MVP.

"With this study, we may have tempered the notion that mitral-valve prolapse is the most common cardiac valvular abnormality in industrialized countries," said Dr. Lisa Freed, the study's lead author. "In addition, the low frequency of associated complications may allay anxiety for those in whom mitral-valve prolapse is diagnosed in an outpatient setting," she said.

Dr. Benjamin noted the value of conducting this study in a community setting because community studies give a more representative picture of MVP and its clinical features. "Prior studies using echocardiography have involved patients in university hospitals who tend to have more severe abnormalities or symptoms," she said.

In addition to being thought to have a high prevalence rate, MVP has often been portrayed as a disease with frequent and serious complications, including stroke, atrial fibrillation, heart failure. The researchers found that these complications did not occur at higher rates among patients with mitral-valve prolapse compared to those patients without prolapse.

The authors point out that the participants in this study were predominantly white and the results may not apply to other ethnic and racial groups.

Another NHLBI-funded study on MVP appearing in the same issue of The New England Journal of Medicine found that the condition was no more common among young people (45 years old or younger) with stroke or transient ischemic stroke (TIA or mini stroke) than it was among a control group of patients. The issue of a possible connection between MVP and stroke -- especially in young patients -- has been a long-standing controversy. The new study by Dan Gilon, M.D., Robert Levine, M.D. (a co-author of the Framingham study), and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School also involved the use of the same new, more accurate echocardiographic criteria. The scientists report that they could not show an association between MVP and acute "ischemic neurologic events" (stroke) in young people.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. "Mitral-Valve Prolapse Less Common, Less Harmful Than Previously Thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990702080118.htm>.
National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. (1999, July 2). Mitral-Valve Prolapse Less Common, Less Harmful Than Previously Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990702080118.htm
National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. "Mitral-Valve Prolapse Less Common, Less Harmful Than Previously Thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990702080118.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins