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Women with mitral valve prolapse are treated less aggressively than men and may be at high risk
Date:12/1/2008

into the left atrium. The study found that one of the most powerful known reasons to recommend surgery - left ventricular size - was poorly estimated in women because their cardiac size appeared smaller than men, but when their smaller body size was taken into account, cardiac enlargement (a measure of the severity of overload due to regurgitation) was at least as serious, Dr. Enriquez-Sarano says.

Such underestimation of cardiac enlargement may have been the main reason that women with moderate or severe regurgitation were less likely than men to undergo mitral valve surgery. Importantly, this underestimation may have consequences on survival after diagnosis, he says.

In the 15 years following diagnosis, survival rates among women with mitral valve prolapse and no regurgitation were better than men, but odds of survival were worse for women with severe regurgitation, compared with men.

"Physicians who have female patients with mitral valve prolapse and moderate or severe regurgitation must be vigilant. We must consider body size, quantify the leakage as much as possible, and carefully consider valve repair when the regurgitation is severe, so that women, like men, can similarly be offered surgery and its excellent long-term benefit," Dr. Enriquez-Sarano says.


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Contact: Traci Klein
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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