[Skip to Navigation]
April 29, 2020

Preventing Aortic Stenosis by Changing the Way We Think About an Old Disease

Author Affiliations
  • 1Preventive and Genomic Cardiology, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
JAMA Cardiol. 2020;5(6):627-629. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.0722

Degenerative. Senile. Calcific. For decades, physicians have used words like these to describe aortic valve stenosis (AS)—words that create the image of a disease that is inevitable and inexorable, a destructive sequence that may (or may not) run to completion, but a sequence we cannot influence. This has limited our care to a strategy of observation, with intervention only after disease has become symptomatic and life threatening. But is AS really an irreversible process of aging, as these words imply? Or do these words limit our ability to imagine a different clinical outcome for AS: one characterized by preventive therapy, reduced disease progression, and avoidance of long-term consequences?