I am a 23 year old female. Overall I appear healthy; exercise daily, eat a healthy diet. Recently I was referred to a cardiologist because of heart palpitations due to anxiety attacks. After listening to my heart the doctor heard a very faint murmur. He assumed it was a functional murmur which I was diagnosed with around age 12. No one has heard the murmur since then. Dr. ordered echocardigram and he said it showed borderline mitral valve prolapse and slight aortic calcification. He said it did not require medication but it needed to be checked on every 2 years. He also asked me if I was ever diagnosed with rheumatic fever. I was not, although I did have strep throat nearly once a year as a child. Is it possible to have rheumatic fever and not be diagnosed with it? Or is it something that is obvious? What else could cause the calcification? I'm really concerned because he says the calcification would be normal in a 50 year old woman. Can this shorten my life span?
It would be unusual to have calcification of vessels or other parts at a young age...but not unheard of as recent reports indicate.
Usually, the diagnosis with a heart valve indicates degree of blood back flow (regurgitation) and a prolapse indicates the leaflets do not close the valve opening when the heart pumps blood into circulation. A prolapse is not usually a problem and many people go through life without any harmful effects or progression.
Calcification of the aorta can buildup around the valve opening (orifice) and restrict the amount of blood pumped into circulation with each heartbeat. If serious it could advance to heart failure, enlargement of the left ventricle (pumping chamber). A very large portion the aging adult has some calcification. Proper diet, exercise, can slow down the process or stop.
Hope this provides some insight for your questions, and if you have any further questions you are welcome to respond. Take care
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