From CNN News:
While it might seem strange that someone could have a malfunctioning heart valve and feel just fine, cardiologists say that's often the case.
"It's the type of thing you could have for a while and not even know it," said Dr. Sara Mobasseri, medical director of Women's Heart Services at the Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, Georgia.
"Most of the time people come in with no symptoms or very subtle symptoms," said Dr. Kenneth Rosenfield, an interventional cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"By the time they start having serious symptoms, it can be pretty far advanced."
More than 5 million Americans have heart valve disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Here is what it says about symptoms:
“Aortic valve stenosis ranges from mild to severe. Aortic valve stenosis symptoms typically develop when narrowing of the valve is severe and can include:
• Chest pain (angina) or tightness
• Feeling faint or fainting with exertion
• Shortness of breath, especially with exertion
• Fatigue, especially during times of increased activity
• Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat
• Heart murmur
“The heart-weakening effects of aortic valve stenosis may lead to heart failure. Heart failure symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and swollen ankles and feet.
“Aortic valve stenosis may not produce warning signs right away, making it difficult to detect at first. The condition is often discovered during a routine physical when a doctor hears an abnormal heart sound (heart murmur). This murmur may occur long before other signs and symptoms develop. “
Walters encourages women to be watchful.
"Many women don't go to a doctor and have their heart checked. Men tend to do it before because we think it's a man's thing, but it's a woman's thing, too," she said on The View.
"Women often minimize their symptoms. It's just part of their [modus operandi]," said Mobasseri. "They tend to send their husbands in to see the doctor but put themselves last."
The ABC News story: