Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
There aren't any risk factors for developing an innocent heart murmur.
There are risk factors that increase your chance of having an underlying condition that can cause a heart murmur from birth. These include:
- Family history of a heart defect. If blood relatives have had a heart defect, that increases the likelihood you or your child may also have a heart defect and heart murmur.
- Illnesses during pregnancy. Having some conditions during pregnancy, such as uncontrolled diabetes or a rubella infection, increases your baby's risk of developing heart defects and a heart murmur.
- Taking certain medications or illegal drugs during pregnancy. Use of certain medications, alcohol or drugs can harm a developing baby, leading to heart defects.
Factors that can increase your risk of a heart murmurs later in life include:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension)
- A history of rheumatic fever
- Past radiation treatment involving the chest
- A previous infection of the lining of the heart (endocarditis)
- A past heart attack
- High blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension)
- A weakened heart muscle, which is sometimes caused by a condition known as cardiomyopathy
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