Valvular heart disease remains common in industrialized countries, because the decrease in prevalence of rheumatic heart diseases has been accompanied by an increase in that of degenerative valve diseases. Aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation are the two most common types of valvular disease in Europe. The prevalence of valvular disease increases sharply with age, owing to the predominance of degenerative etiologies. The burden of heart valve disease in the elderly has an important impact on patient management, given the high frequency of comorbidity and the increased risk associated with intervention in this age group. Endocarditis is an important etiology of valvular disease and is most commonly caused by Staphylococci. Rheumatic heart disease remains prevalent in developing countries.