Medical Q&As

Heart murmur - implications?

Today I had a medical for my job and the doctor said that I have a slight heart murmur. Is this serious? Everything else was fine. I'm terrified I'm going to die. I'm only 26 married with a baby. The doctor told me not to worry. How did this happen? I'm very fit and never had any heart problems.

Heart murmurs are very common. A murmur is simply a sound that the doctor hears when listening to the heart sounds with his stethoscope. The sound is a faint swishing noise that is created by the blood coursing through the chambers and valves in the heart. It can be loosely compared to the sound of a fast running stream passing under a bridge. Think of the sound as a form of minor turbulence in the blood flow. You are a fit 26 year old and you have a young baby. If you had an underlying cardiac abnormality the stress on your cardiovascular system during your recent pregnancy would have revealed that problem. Sometimes murmurs can be indicative of cardiac problems such as a hole in the heart or possibly a damaged heart valve. However, these so called pathological murmurs have distinctive characteristics and are usually associated with additional signs of abnormality. I have no doubt that you have nothing to worry about and this finding has no health implications for your future.