Is it old age, or aortic stenosis symptoms?

Those suffering aortic stenosis symptoms often attribute them to old age

Elderly man and stethoscope - aortic stenosis symptoms can mimic signs of aging

Is your elderly parent or loved one “just getting older”? Or could his or her health problems be aortic stenosis symptoms?

Is your elderly parent or loved one experiencing normal slowdowns in health as a result of old age, or is it something more severe?

Aortic stenosis symptoms parallel health concerns that are often attributed to old age, including:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Increasing fatigue and low energy level
  • Heart murmur
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Fainting or passing out

What is aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a condition in which the aortic valve does not open fully, decreasing blood flow from the heart to the body. Severe aortic stenosis is often unpreventable and is most commonly attributed to old age (70+). Other causes may be a buildup of calcium deposits causing narrowing of the valve, high blood pressure, radiation therapy or a history of rheumatic fever.

Getting a proper evaluation by your primary care provider and/or your cardiologist is critical for patients with potential aortic stenosis. Once an aortic stenosis diagnosis is made, the next step is determining the appropriate treatment.

Targeted treatment plans

Although open (surgical) aortic valve replacement is usually the treatment of choice, about one-third of patients with aortic stenosis are not candidates for the surgery and stand to benefit from other, less invasive valve replacement options, such as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).

Once you are diagnosed with aortic stenosis, the University of Michigan TAVR team conducts an extensive evaluation to create an individualized plan of care. The evaluation for TAVR is complex. Depending on patient anatomy, risk level and other factors, there might be several available options. This information often raises many questions for patients and their families. The TAVR team provides answers to those questions and helps patients and families play an active role throughout the entire TAVR process, from the initial evaluation through the recovery period.

Take the next step:

  • To make an appointment to discuss aortic stenosis symptoms and whether you are a candidate for an aortic valve replacement, call the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center at 888-287-1082 or email at CVCCallCtr@med.umich.edu.

Mary Jo Boyle TAVR-NP-Team 150x150Mary Jo Boyle is an acute care nurse practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice. She has over 30 years in caring for the cardiovascular patient and has extensive experience in both cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology. She is one of the three nurse practitioners on the TAVR team.



Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.