Valvular heart disease (VHD) is present in half the population aged >65 years but is usually mild and of uncertain importance. We investigated the association between VHD and its phenotypes with all-cause and cause-specific mortality.The OxVALVE (Oxford Valvular Heart Disease) population cohort study screened 4009 participants aged >65 years to establish the presence and severity of VHD. We linked data to a national mortality registry and undertook detailed outcome analysis.Mortality data were available for 3511 participants, of whom 361 (10.3%) died (median 6.49 years follow-up). Most had some form of valve abnormality (n=2645, 70.2%). In adjusted analyses, neither mild VHD (prevalence 44.9%) nor clinically significant VHD (moderate or severe stenosis or regurgitation; 5.2%) was associated with increased all-cause mortality (HR 1.20, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.51 and HR 1.47, 95% CI 0.94 to 2.31, respectively). Conversely, advanced aortic sclerosis (prevalence 2.25%) and advanced mitral annular calcification (MAC, 1.31%) were associated with an increased risk of death (HR 2.05, 95% CI 1.28 to 3.30 and HR 2.51, 95% CI 1.41 to 4.49, respectively). Mortality was highest for people with both clinically significant VHD and advanced aortic sclerosis or MAC (HR 4.38, 95% CI 1.99 to 9.67).Advanced aortic sclerosis or MAC is associated with a worse outcome, particularly for patients with significant VHD, but also in the absence of other VHD. Older patients with mild VHD can be reassured about their prognosis. The absence of an association between significant VHD and mortality may reflect its relatively low prevalence in our cohort.
Clare J Taylor, José M Ordóñez-Mena, Nicholas R Jones, Andrea K Roalfe, Saul G Myerson, Bernard D Prendergast, Fd Richard Hobbs