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Canadian Journal of Cardiology

Heart Valve Dysfunction in Ischemic Heart Disease: Epiphenomenon of Cardiac Aging and Damage?

  • Rosie Fountotos
    Affiliations
    Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Jewish General Hospital, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montréal, Québec, Canada
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  • Jonathan Afilalo
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author: Dr Jonathan Afilalo, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Côte Ste Catherine Road, E-222, Montréal, Québec H3T 1E2, Canada. Tel.: +1-514-340-7540; fax: +1-514-340-7534.
    Affiliations
    Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Jewish General Hospital, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montréal, Québec, Canada

    Division of Cardiology, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
Published:March 12, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2020.02.099
      In medicine, an epiphenomenon is a secondary clinical finding that manifests alongside a primary phenomenon but has little to no causal influence itself. The epiphenomenon may be a useful indicator to establish the diagnosis or prognosis of a related condition; yet, paradoxically, it may not be a worthwhile target to treat the condition or prevent its undesirable outcomes. Therefore, ascertaining causal influence is critical to foreshadow whether an association suggested by observational research will likely translate into positive clinical trials and new treatment paradigms. The echocardiographic finding of moderate heart valve dysfunction in older adults has been associated with adverse health outcomes, seemingly out of proportion to the degree of pressure or volume overload and impervious to the restoration of valvular competency.
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