Severe mitral regurgitation due to mitral valve prolapse: Risk factors for development, progression, and need for mitral valve surgery
Patients with mitral valve prolapse (MVP) may develop severe mitral regurgitation (MR) and require valve surgery. Preliminary data suggest that high body weight and blood pressure might add to the irreversible factors of older age and male gender in increasing risk of these complications. Fifty-four patients with severe MR due to MVP were compared with 117 control subjects with uncomplicated MVP to elucidate factors independently associated with severe MR: the need for valve surgery and the cumulative risk of requiring mitral valve surgery. Patients with severe MR were older (p<0.00005), more overweight (p = 0.002), had higher systolic (p = 0.0003) and diastolic (p = 0.007) blood pressures, and were more likely to have hypertension (p = 0.0001) and to be men (p<0.001). In both groups, men had higher blood pressure and relative body weight than women. In multivariate analysis, older age was most strongly associated with MR; higher body mass index, hypertension, and gender were independent predictors of severe MR in analyses that excluded age. Among the 54 patients with severe MR, the 32 (59%) who underwent mitral valve surgery during 11 years of follow-up were older, more overweight, and more likely to be hypertensive than those not requiring surgery. Among patients undergoing mitral valve surgery in 3 centers, mitral prolapse was the etiology in 25%, 67% of whom were men. Using these data and national statistics, we estimate that the gender-specific cumulative risk for requiring valvular surgery for severe MR in subjects with MVP is 0.8% in women and 2.6% in men before age 65, and 1.4% and 5.5% by age 75. Thus, subjects with MVP who are older, more overweight, and hypertensive are at greater risk for severe MR and valve surgery. Higher blood pressure and relative weight in men with MVP appear to contribute to the gender difference in risk for severe MR.