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Echocardiographic detection of heart valve disease in a community cohort of asymptomatic Australians > 65 years with cardiovascular risk factors

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 16:31 authored by D'Elia, N, Seana GallSeana Gall, Potter, E, Wright, L, Yang, H, Thomas MarwickThomas Marwick

Background: Valvular heart disease is becoming an increasingly prevalent with population ageing. We sought to define the current prevalence of valvular heart disease in Australia.

Methods: The TasELF and VicELF studies prospectively recruited 962 asymptomatic participants ≥65 years, with at least one cardiovascular risk factor, from the Tasmanian and Victorian communities. People were excluded if they had a previous diagnosis of heart failure, or a life expectancy <1 year. All underwent baseline echocardiography. Those with moderate or severe valvular disease were identified. The current prevalence of clinically significant valve disease was applied to the Australian Bureau of Statistics population projections.

Results: Echocardiograms were interpretable in 943 participants (98%). Clinically significant valve disease was present in 5% of the population, and mitral regurgitation was the most common overall valvular lesion, present in 36% of the population. The projected numbers of people with clinically significant valvular disease is expected to increase significantly across all age groups by the year 2060.

Conclusions: Clinically significant yet asymptomatic valvular disease was prevalent in a large community cohort of participants with at least one risk factor. The total burden of valvular heart disease is expected to increase dramatically over the coming decades.


Publication title

International Journal of Cardiology






Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd

Place of publication

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Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions; Health surveillance

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