What causes a heart murmur?
Heart murmurs may be caused by a number of factors or diseases, including:
Defective heart valves
Holes in the walls of your heart (atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect)
Pregnancy (increased blood volume)
Anemia (a decrease in the red cells in the blood)
What are the different types of murmurs?
All murmurs are analyzed for pitch, frequency, and duration. They are also graded according to how loud they are (on a scale of 1 to 6 with 1 being very faint and 6 being very loud).
Types of murmurs include:
Systolic murmur. This occurs during a heart muscle contraction. Systolic murmurs are divided into ejection murmurs (due to blood flow through a narrowed vessel or irregular valve) and regurgitant murmurs (backward blood flow into one of the chambers of the heart).
Diastolic murmur. This occurs during heart muscle relaxation between beats. Diastolic murmurs are due to a narrowing (stenosis) of the mitral or tricuspid valves, or regurgitation of the aortic or pulmonary valves.
Continuous murmur. This occurs throughout the cardiac cycle.
Make a Health Promise
Heart disease remains the number one killer nationwide. To help prevent heart disease or catch symptoms early, adults over 50 should have a full cardiovascular assessment. A coronary calcium scan can show just how at risk you are for a heart attack or other heart issues before other signs and symptoms occur. This is particularly useful for those with a family history of heart disease or other significant risk factors.
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