ABOUT THE HEART​ heart valve disease


A healthy heart beats around 100,000 times a day. The heart’s job is to supply the body with oxygen-rich blood. The heart has four chambers. Blood is pumped through the four chambers with the help of four heart valves.


Heart valves open when the heart pumps to allow blood to flow. They close quickly between heartbeats to make sure blood does not flow backward.

  • The pulmonary valve (1) controls the flow of blood to the lungs to get oxygen.

  • The aortic valve (2) controls the flow of blood as it exits the heart and is pumped to the rest of the body.

  • The tricuspid (3) and mitral valves (4) control blood flow as it moves between the chambers of the heart.
Illustration of an Heart valve

About Heart Valve Disease

Old women with child smiling

Every year, many million of people worldwide learn they have heart valve disease1, which disrupts the flow of blood through the heart. It can leave you short of breath and too weak for normal activities.

Heart valve disease can disturb the normal flow of blood through the heart. This can affect your overall health and keep you from enjoying the activities you love.

The aortic valve, pulmonary valve, mitral valve, and tricuspid valve can develop one or both of these problems:

  • The valve opening becomes narrow (stenotic), which makes the heart work harder to pump blood.
  • The valve does not close completely (valve insufficiency or regurgitation), which means blood can flow backward instead of only forward. Backward blood flow reduces your heart's ability to pump blood to the rest of your body. This also causes a buildup of back pressure in your heart and lungs.



Calculation based on assumptions from Nkomo VT, Gardin JM, Skelton TN, et al. Burden of valvular diseases: a population-based study. The Lancet Online. August 18, 2006; Vol 368; pp 1005-1011.​


The content of this document is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner.

Nothing herein should be construed as a promotion or solicitation for an indication for any product which is not authorized by the laws and regulations of your country of residence. Responses to a treatment may vary from patient to patient.

Always consult your physician if you have any questions or concerns about your health.