Valvular Heart Disease Epidemiology

Med Sci (Basel). 2022 Jun 15;10(2):32. doi: 10.3390/medsci10020032.


Valvular heart disease is a rapidly growing cause of global cardiovascular morbidity and mortality with diverse and evolving geographic distribution. The prevalence of rheumatic heart disease, the most common valvular heart disease (affecting approximately 41 million people), has been rising in developing nations, likely due to the expansion of the young adult population and the decrease in premature mortality that has resulted from improved access to antibiotics, microbiological testing, and echocardiography. Rheumatic heart disease has also been rising among the impoverished and, often, indigenous populations of developed nations, spurring public health initiatives that are aimed at alleviating healthcare disparities. Aortic valve stenotic disease is the most commonly occurring valvular pathology in developed nations (afflicting 9 million people worldwide) and its prevalence has been increasing with population aging and the increased prevalence of atherosclerosis. Aortic regurgitation is associated with diastolic, but not systolic, hypertension and it has likewise seen a rise in the developed world. Mitral regurgitation affects 24 million people worldwide, with great variability between and among nations. Primary mitral regurgitation arises as a consequence of myxomatous degeneration and mitral valve prolapse, which is largely due to genetic predispositions, while secondary mitral regurgitation accounts for 65% of cases and arises secondary to dilation and heart failure. Tricuspid regurgitation has become more prevalent in developed nations due to the increased usage of intracardiac pacemakers. Infective endocarditis prevalence has also grown in developed nations, likely due to population aging and the increased utilization of transcatheter valve replacement and prosthetic valves as interventions against the previously discussed valvular pathologies.

Keywords: aortic regurgitation; aortic valve stenotic disease; epidemiology; infective endocarditis; rheumatic heart disease; tricuspid regurgitation; valvular heart disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart Valve Diseases* / complications
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency* / complications
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency* / surgery
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse* / complications
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease* / complications
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency* / complications
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency* / surgery
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.