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What It Really Means If You Have A Heart Murmur

Jan 4, 2019
Heart murmur
Naomi Sloman

Every month, we send some of your biggest questions on nutrition, health, and more to our panel of experts to answer. The question, "My doctor said I have a heart murmur. Does this really affect my life in any way?" was answered by N.A. Mark Estes, M.D., director, New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center in Boston. 

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In most cases, no! Having a murmur means a sound can be heard as blood flows through your heart. The reason can just be that your chest muscles are relatively thin or one of your valves is close to your chest wall. Both of these are normal, and murmurs often go away entirely over time.

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If your doctor hears a more unusual type of sound—louder than is typical, or in an unusual location in the heart—or if you've also been having symptoms like shortness of breath or blackout spells, she may send you for further testing, such as an EKG or an echocardiogram. In these rare cases, a murmur might be a sign of a problem with a heart valve or a hole between the ventricles in the heart, among other issues. People in this very small group will go for further evaluation by a cardiologist, and odds are, there will be good options for treatment.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!






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Date: 06.12.2018, 16:57 / Views: 94151