Forecast | Aortic valve insufficiency


Patients with chronic aortic valve insufficiency can be without symptoms for long periods of time. Life expectancy is not reduced in patients with mild to moderate chronic aortic valve insufficiency without symptoms. If aortic valve insufficiency is already more advanced, only half of those affected live 10 years after diagnosis.

Patients who already have symptoms have a worse prognosis. If chest pain (angina pectoris) is felt, the survival time is about 5 years. If symptoms are caused by weakness of the left heart (left heart failure), the survival time is reduced to about 2 years.

Patients who have undergone surgery have better long-term prospects, the less the left ventricle was damaged before the operation. Insufficiency of the aortic valve puts a strain on the entire cardiovascular system. The disease progresses slowly, a spontaneous regression of the insufficiency or recovery of the aortic valve does not occur.

On the one hand, the heart muscle of the left ventricle suffers permanent damage due to the volume strain, which may result in cardiac insufficiency or rhythm disturbances. The heart tires faster and is less able to supply the body and its own muscle cells with vital oxygen. On the other hand, as the volume load increases, the blood accumulates from the left ventricle via the left atrium back into the lungs or even into the right heart.

The result is a congestion of the lungs up to pulmonary edema. As a symptom the patient feels shortness of breath. All these factors can logically lead to a shortening of the patient’s life span at some point. Therefore, the age of onset of the disease plays an important role in life expectancy. The earlier aortic valve insufficiency is diagnosed, the greater the probability that the disease will eventually become life-limiting and require surgery.

Is exercise allowed in patients with aortic valve insufficiency, and if so, which one?

As long as the aortic valve insufficiency does not cause discomfort or restrict everyday life, moderate exercise is still allowed. It is important, however, to choose a type of sport that places an even strain on the cardiovascular system. Sports activities such as competitive sports of any kind or sports with a sudden increase in performance, such as bodybuilding or ball sports, are not suitable and may even accelerate the course of the disease.

Stress can also have a negative effect and put additional strain on the heart muscle. However, as soon as symptoms associated with aortic valve insufficiency occur, all sports activities should be discontinued. If the strain is too great, the disease quickly manifests itself with symptoms and sport should be discontinued.

The right balance between exercise and protection of the heart is crucial. – Riding a bicycle,