Dangers of Severe Aortic Stenosis

You may think it is ok to delay talking to your doctor about new or worsening symptoms, but it is important to share this information once you first notice changes. Severe aortic stenosis is dangerous and delaying treatment can be deadly.

Waiting is not winning

Why is severe aortic stenosis dangerous?

At this advanced stage, the aortic valve has a severe buildup of calcium, and it has a difficult time opening and closing. When this happens, your risk for heart failure significantly increases.

Uncomfortable symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain may become more noticeable. Patients sometimes confuse these symptoms with normal signs of aging.

When is the right time for severe aortic stenosis treatment?

It is understandable to want to wait for just the right time, but it is important to note that it doesn't exist. If you have severe aortic stenosis and are experiencing symptoms, the time is now. Don't wait. Be an active participant in your heart health and ask your doctor about your treatment options at your next appointment.

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend that patients receive treatment as soon as they are diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis and start to experience symptoms.1

50 percent

Without treatment, up to 50% of patients with severe aortic stenosis will die within an average of 2 years after symptoms appear.2

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What are the symptoms of severe aortic stenosis?

Mild to moderate aortic stenosis often causes no outward symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, you may begin to feel symptoms. That’s why it is important that you talk to your doctor about any new or worsening symptoms, including changes in your daily activities. These symptoms may not be due to aging, but rather severe aortic stenosis.

Symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue (low energy)
  • Lightheadedness, feeling dizzy, and/or fainting
  • Difficulty in walking short distances
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeat

These symptoms may mean your body is not getting enough oxygen. Over time, you may feel tired and weak. These may be signs that your severe aortic stenosis has reached a life-threatening point.

Aortic Stenosis Informed Discussion Guide

For your next appointment

Use this Informed Discussion Guide to help you talk with your doctor about aortic stenosis, possible symptoms, and treatment options once your aortic stenosis becomes severe.

Talk with your doctor

Don’t confuse severe aortic stenosis symptoms with signs of aging

If you're feeling fatigue, dizziness, or shortness of breath, it could be severe aortic stenosis, not age. Many patients mistakenly think that severe aortic stenosis symptoms are normal signs of aging. Studies have shown that while many aortic stenosis patients initially report no symptoms, after closer examination, 32% do have symptoms.3

If you've been diagnosed with aortic stenosis and experience any of the symptoms of severe aortic stenosis, talk to your doctor about whether it is time for treatment. Don't wait.

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Your future belongs to you, not to your severe aortic stenosis

If you've been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis and you have symptoms, then the time for treatment is now. Take control of your severe aortic stenosis and ask your doctor for a TAVR evaluation. Or find a TAVR Hospital near you, where you will be evaluated for all your treatment options.

Find a TAVR Hospital
Patient Story

Patient Stories

Former Police Chief Tate took control over his severe aortic stenosis

Chief Tate describes his severe aortic stenosis symptoms, how they impacted his day-to-day, and why he talked to his doctor about treatment.

Watch Chief Tate’s story
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  • Education on severe aortic stenosis and symptoms checklist once it becomes severe
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  • Videos of patients sharing their experiences with TAVR
  • Discussion guide for talking with your doctor
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References
1. Otto CM, Nishimura RA, Bonow RO, et al. 2020 ACC/AHA guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Joint Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2021;143:e72-e227.
2. Otto, C VALVE DISEASE; Timing of aortic valve surgery. Heart. 2000;84(2):211-218.
3. Das P, Rimington H, Chambers J. Exercise testing to stratify risk in aortic stenosis. Eur Heart J. 2005;26(13):1309-1313.