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ECHO results showed mitral valve leak. Getting anxiety and no sleep. Suggest

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Im an identical twin, we both have almost the same blood lipid. The total cholesterol 187, HDL 72, LDL 101, and tryglyeserides 65. We both exercise 30 minutes a day on the treadmill, we eat a healthy diet, and our weight is very good. We both have glaucoma. My twin sister does even more exercise than I do.My sister went for her yearly physical to a different doctor,because her previous doctor retired.which she had been using for years . Her new doctor heard a slight murmur, and she had an EKG done in his office and it was fine, but he also sent her for an echocardiagram, which the findings were a mild mitral valve leak. It blew her mind because she never new she had it, and the other doctor a year ago never heard the slight murmur. Her new doctor told her its nothing to worry about. She has no symptoms whatsoever. I am more upset about it then her. Is it possible that I can have it also. I keep on thinking about it, that I can't sleep at nights, and I'm getting anxiety. I'm driving my husband crazy, because I am so upset and worried about my sister. Her and I are very close, because we are identical twins. We both have the same DNAs. It's 3 o'clock in the morning and I'm still up.
Posted Mon, 8 Jul 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 27 days later
Dear patient,

Thank you for your health concerns. As we age, valvular disease becomes more and more frequent, it is a wear and tear process, usually related to deposition of calcium, even if you lead a very healthy and active lifestyle as you and your sister do. I would concur that in the absence of symptoms and only mild regurgitation, the finding is not of much concern. My advise is to continue that active, healthy lifestyle and regular follow up with your doctors as you have so far, because my experience with patients whose valve problem progresses (eg. leakage becomes worse) is that at some point there is an evident change, either in symptoms, exercise tolerance, phyiscal examination, etc that prompts further workup.
My best advise to you is have your doctor review your level of activity, any new worrisome symptoms and conduct a cardiovascular physical examination; if there are abnormalities then getting an echocardiogram for you might be indicated; if nothing stands out in such evaluation, then I wouldn't worry and probably you do not need that imaging technique. Does it make sense?
Please feel free to share my answer with your husband so that you can clarify things better; he is probably trying to provide reassurance as well

Wish you the very best,

Dr Brenes Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
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