Valve Disease

Have you or a loved one been affected by valve disease? We invite you to share your story at Visit our new site to learn more about living with valve disease and to read about others’ experiences.

As many as five million Americans are diagnosed with valve disease each year.  Valve disease involves damage to one or more of the heart's valves and while some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications—including death.

Valve defects can be there at birth or develop from damage later in life.  Fortunately, valve disease can usually be successfully treated with valve repair or replacement in patients of all ages.  If you have been diagnosed with valve disease, have a heart murmur, or think you may be experiencing symptoms, read the following information to learn about causes, symptoms, surgery, and more—and be sure to talk with your health care professional.

To learn more about aortic stenosis, a type of valve disease, visit the Alliance's aortic stenosis page.


 Workshop Kits for Women with Valve Disease


1 in 50 women have some type of valve disease.  By age 75, that number has grown to 1 in 10 women.  In general, women with valve disease have a worse prognosis than men.  This is often because women are more likely to ignore their symptoms and delay seeing their health care professional.

The tools and educational materials in this workshop kit are designed to help women identify signs and symptoms of valve disease, and seek treatment if necesssary.  It provides all of the resources necessary for community leaders to present a workshop for women at risk for and diagnosed with valve disease.

The kit includes:

Please download these materials, share them with participants, and help women learn more about these serious, but treatable, diseases.

 Patient Fact Sheets


This fact sheet covers the basics of valve disease—what it is, how you get it, how you know you have it, and how it's diagnosed.  It also covers broad treatment options, what to expect after surgery, and helpful resources.

To download the fact sheet click here.



This quick guide to talking to your health care professional about valve disease includes information for patients who think they may have a valve problem, as well as for those who know that they have a type of valve disease.  This resource can help make these important conversations a little bit easier.

To download the fact sheet click here.



 Educational Quiz

Find out how much you know about valve disease including what to look for, the causes and risk factors, how it's treated, and more by taking this quiz.






 Educational Podcasts

This podcast series includes informative interviews with a valve surgery patient, a cardiologist, and a cardiac surgeon.


David P. Faxon, MD is Vice Chair of Medicine for Clinical Strategic Planning for the Department of Medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.  In this podcast, he discusses the diagnosis, management, and treatment of valve disease including types of valve disease, treatment options, and what patients should expect from surgery.

Listen to the podcast.


Vincent Gaudiani, MD is the senior cardiac surgeon at Pacific Coast Cardiac and Vascular Surgeons.  He is Surgeon-in-Chief at the California Pacific Medical Center Heart Institute and Director of Cardiac Surgery at Community Hospital of Monterrey Penninsula.  In this podcast, he draws from his over 10,000 operations and 40 scientific papers to cover the basics of heart valve surgery including options available to patients, risks to consider, expectations for surgery, and how to find resources.

Listen to the podcast.


Beverly Simmons is a valve surgery patient and provides details in this podcast about her personal experiences. Topics she discusses include her symptoms, when she decided to see a doctor about them, how she was diagnosed, how her knowledge about tthe procedure progressed, how she felt after surgery, and resources that she recommends.

Listen to the podcast.