Your body’s organs are dependent on the heart’s plumbing — the three coronary arteries and the four valves that keep blood flowing in the proper direction.
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which the heart’s arteries grow narrower because of plaque buildup. This slows blood flow and results in chest pain or a blood clot, which can cause a heart attack.
As you grow older, your risk of atherosclerosis increases.
Likewise, the heart’s mitral and aortic valves can suffer wear and tear with aging. Over time, calcium deposits can build up, resulting in a leaky mitral valve (a condition called mitral regurgitation), or a stiff aortic valve (aortic stenosis).
Severe valve disease can cause chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, palpitations, swelling of the ankles, feet, or abdomen, and unusual weight gain due to fluid accumulation.
© 2022 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.