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Can Anxiety Causes Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Mitral valve prolapse is the abnormality caused in the mitral valve of the heart. This condition is caused by various factors such as connective tissue disease, cardiomyopathy, radiation, endocarditis, and rheumatic fever.[1] The association of anxiety and mitral valve prolapse is neither established nor excluded.

Can Anxiety Causes Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Can Anxiety Causes Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Various studies are done to establish the connection between mitral valve prolapse and panic disorder or anxiety, but the results were inadequate to establish or exclude the connection between the two disorders. As anxiety leads to the changes the status of the nervous system, it leads to a rapid heart rate. Prolonged anxiety may cause an increased rate for a longer period leading to damage to the heart muscles.[2] Further, cardiovascular complaints are most common in the condition of panic disorder.[3]

Palpitations, anxiety, dizziness, and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms associated with mitral valve prolapse. In some studies, the association is shown due to the overall of clinical symptoms of both the disorders. Further, mitral valve prolapse may also cause anxiety among the patients due to the change in emotional status.

Causes Of Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse is caused due to variety of medical conditions. It has been found that most of the factors cause and occur due to mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation. [4]Following are the general causes of mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation:

Damaged Tissue Cords. Mitral valves are attached with the tissue cords. The cord may stretch leading to an abnormal fitting position between both the flaps of the valve.[5] This causes incomplete closure of the mitral valve leading to mitral valve regurgitation.

Connective Tissue Disease. Various connective tissue diseases also leads to mitral valve prolapse. The abnormal connective tissue leads to stretching of the valve and the blood from the ventricle flows back into the atrium causing murmuring sound.[6]

Rheumatic Fever. Patient with rheumatic fever have high incidence of mitral valve prolapse. The mechanism behind this cause is the post-inflammatory changes in the connective tissue attached to the mitral valve leads to mitral valve prolapse.[7]

Endocarditis. Mitral valve prolapse is caused due to infected endocarditis and also the patients with mitral valve prolapse have high incidence of infective endocarditis. Mitral valve prolapse from endocarditis is caused due to change in the structure of connective, which holds the mitral valve, due to infection and inflammation.[8]

Heart Attack. Heart attack may also cause mitral valve prolapse. The heart attack may lead to the destruction of the muscles that hold the mitral valve.[9] Further, during a heart attack, the anatomy of mitral valve and related tissues changes leading to mitral regurgitation.

Radiation. In some cases, radiation during chemotherapy of the chest also results in the mitral valve prolapse that also leads to mitral regurgitation.

Cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy means any disease in the cardiac muscles.[10] When the heart muscles are forced to work under pressure, it will lead to enlargement of the ventricle. Once the ventricle is enlarged, the mortal valve no longer able to completely stop the backflow of blood leading to mitral regurgitation.

Medications. Some medications also cause mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation. Ergotamine and cabergoline are examples of such drugs.

Trauma. Any trauma in the chest or heart may lead to abnormality in mitral valves which may lead to mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation.

Atrial Fibrillation. Whenever there is an abnormal heartbeat rhythm, the condition is called as atrial fibrillation.[11] This condition may cause a problem in muscles leading to mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation.

Congenital Heart Disorders. Some patients born with defect in the mitral valve. This condition is known as congenital mitral valve prolapse.[12] These patients may or may not have symptoms of prolapse and mitral regurgitation.

Anxiety. Patients with anxiety disorders are also prone to mitral valve prolapse.


Various studies are done to conclude the association between mitral valve prolapse and anxiety but none provided conclusive evidence. However, it is noted that patient with mitral valve prolapse has high incidence of anxiety.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 22, 2023

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