PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Some possible ways to prevent aortic valve stenosis include:
- Take steps to prevent rheumatic fever. You can do this by making sure you see your doctor when you have a sore throat. Untreated strep throat can develop into rheumatic fever. Fortunately, strep throat can usually be easily treated with antibiotics.
- Address risk factors for coronary artery disease. These include high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol levels. These factors have been linked to aortic valve stenosis, so it's a good idea to keep your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control if you have aortic valve stenosis. Lowering your cholesterol may be especially important in preventing aortic stenosis or slowing its progression.
- Take care of your teeth and gums. There may be a link between infected gums (gingivitis) and infected heart tissue (endocarditis). Inflammation of heart tissue caused by infection can narrow arteries and aggravate aortic stenosis.
Once you know that you have aortic valve stenosis, your doctor may recommend that you limit strenuous activity to avoid overworking your heart.
If you're a woman of childbearing age with aortic valve stenosis, discuss pregnancy and family planning with your doctor before you become pregnant. Your heart works harder during pregnancy. How a heart with aortic valve stenosis tolerates this extra work depends on the degree of stenosis and how well your heart pumps. Should you become pregnant, you'll need evaluation by your cardiologist and obstetrician throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery, and after delivery.
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- How the healthy heart works. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/How-the-Healthy-Heart-Works_UCM_307016_Article.jsp. Accessed June 12, 2011.
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- Carabello BA, et al. Aortic stenosis. In: Crawford MH. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Cardiology. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3646810&searchStr=aortic+valve+stenosis#3646810. Accessed June 12, 2011.
- Coeytaux RR, et al. Percutaneous heart valve replacement for aortic stenosis: State of the evidence. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2010;153:314.
- Smith CR, et al. Transcatheter versus surgical aortic-valve replacement in high-risk patients. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:2187.
- Lockhart PB, et al. Poor oral hygiene as a risk factor for infective endocarditis-related bacteremia. Journal of the American Dental Association. 2009;140:1238.