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Had a heart murmur. Having shortness of breath and chest pain. Safe to go for mountain trail?

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I am a 59 year old woman. When I was a teen I was told I had a heart murmer but was never told that it was a problem. Recently I switched doctors and it was the first time that any testing was done for the murmer. The echocardiogram found regurgutation in 2 valves. I exercise regularly and never have shortness of breath or chest pains. I would like to hike the Inca Trail this summer should i be concerned?
Posted Sat, 23 Mar 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Anantharamakrishnan 6 hours later
Hi friend,
Welcome to Health Care Magic

A murmur at teens might have been ‘functional’ – like anaemia / without any organic cause.
A small hole in the septum at birth causing a murmur might have closed.
The present one may be from age and atherosclerosis.
The past and present ones may not have the same underlying cause.

You do have documented regurgitation of more than one valve.
You have no symptoms. Your exercise tolerance is good.
This means the heart is well compensated – the lesions are not significant enough to affect its performance till date.

This may remain stationary for long, though eventual progression can not be ruled out.
You need regular follow up.

Pain and breathlessness are due to disparity in demand and supply.
On high altitude, supply is less and demand is more.
Even normal people may suffer from altitude sickness, in spite of precautions like graduated ascent and prophylactic medicines like acetazolamide

The mountain trail is demanding and in a group and entails a definite stress.
I am sorry to say this but I feel it may be wiser to skip it.
Nothing may happen at times / but the possibility of illness can not be excluded. The benefit of mental satisfaction may not be worth the risk? Unlike necessity, luxury can be avoided

Take care
Wishing speedy recovery
God bless
Good luck
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