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June 1986

Mitral Valve Prolapse: Disease or Illness?

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology (Drs Retchin and Fletcher) and Health Education (Dr Earp and Ms Lamson), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC (Dr Waugh).

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(6):1081-1084. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360180063010

• Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a common condition that is believed to be responsible for numerous symptoms and potentially serious complications. To determine whether symptoms and functional impairment are related to MVP itself, we studied 274 outpatients referred to an echocardiography laboratory for suspicion of MVP. The age, sex, and symptoms at the time of echocardiography were similar among patients with and without evidence of MVP. After 14 to 36 months, 158 patients were interviewed. There was a high rate of dysfunction, but echocardiographic evidence of MVP was not associated with disability, health care utilization, or reported symptoms. The results of this study suggest that symptoms and dysfunction are not related to the presence of MVP by echocardiography. The functional impairment that is seen in patients suspected of MVP may be caused by other factors.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:1081-1084)

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