AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287

Aortic Stenosis: the life-saving importance of early detection


Do you know what aortic stenosis is? It’s a common heart valve disease. One in eight people over the age of 75 have aortic stenosis1, yet it is often missed or underdiagnosed.

First, let’s talk about the heart. The heart is an amazing organ that pumps blood throughout the body, but it’s also very complex. It is made up of four chambers: the right atrium, right ventricle, left atrium, and left ventricle. It’s also connected to four valves, but we will focus on the aortic valve. The aortic valve is located between the left ventricle and the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body.2 When the heart beats, the aortic valve opens to allow blood to flow from the left ventricle into the aorta, where it is then distributed to the rest of the body.3

Aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve becomes narrowed or blocked by a build-up of calcium deposits, preventing the heart from pumping blood efficiently to the rest of the body.4

This heart valve disease is often underdiagnosed because its symptoms can be mistaken for the natural effects of ageing or other medical conditions.5 Some people with aortic stenosis may dismiss their symptoms as minor or not get medical attention, while there are some people who may not experience any symptoms until the condition has progressed to a more severe stage. Common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Fainting or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swollen ankles or feet.3

Aortic stenosis is a serious condition that if overlooked can lead to complications such as heart failure and sudden cardiac death.6 However, it is also a treatable condition, and with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, many people with aortic stenosis can have a good quality of life. There are effective treatments available, including surgery and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which can improve symptoms. The key is to get on top of your medical needs. Even if you don’t experience symptoms, it’s recommended to get a yearly heart auscultation after the age of 65.

If you or a loved one experiences any symptoms of aortic stenosis, it’s important to see your GP and get them to listen to your heart.

For more information on aortic stenosis go to

If you need assistance in planning the discussion with your doctor, download this guide.

To get the free informational kit, click here.

© 2023 Edwards Lifesciences Corporation. All rights reserved ANZ-2023-113

Edwards Lifesciences Pty Ltd. 2/40 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113, Australia. Phone: 1800 222 601. Edwards Lifesciences (New Zealand) Ltd. PO Box 28654 Remuera New Zealand. P: 0800 222 601.

1. Nkomo, V. T., Gardin, J. M., Skelton, T. N., Gottdiener, J. S., Scott, C. G., & Enriquez-Sarano, M. (2006). Burden of valvular heart diseases: a population-based study. The Lancet, 368(9540), 1005–1011.

2. Your Aorta: The Pulse of Life. (2021, April 13).

3. Your Aorta: The Pulse of Life. (2021, April 13).

4. Aortic valve stenosis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic. (2022, August 18). Mayo Clinic.

5. Thoenes M, Bramlage P, Zamorano P, et al. Patient screening for early detection of aortic stenosis (AS)-review of current practice and future perspectives. J Thorac Dis. 2018;10(9):5584-5594.

6. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Aortic stenosis. Better Health Channel.