The Changing Epidemiology Of Valvular Heart Disease

REVIEW, 7 November 2009
doi: 10.5083/ejcm.20424884.13 , Cite or Link Using DOI
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Joanna d’Arcy MRCP, Bernard Prendergast DM FRCP

Improvements in living conditions and the introduction of penicillin for streptococcal pharyngitis have led to a dramatic decrease in the prevalence of rheumatic valvular heart disease (VHD) in the developed world3. The most common cause of VHD is now degenerative and as life expectancy increases, the resulting demands on health care resources are destined to rise.  Epidemiological data on VHD are scarce. However, two significant studies provide a valuable insight in this area. This article investigates the results of the two studies and concludes that VHD is a significant health care issue.

Correspondence to:
Bernard Prendergast DM FRCP, Department of Cardiology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.


valvular heart disease, aortic regurgitation, mitral stenosis, ageing population