Jenny Garth Reveals Leaky Heart Valve Diagnosis
It seems like 2009 could be “The Year Of The Celebrity Heart Valve Patient”.
In February, Barbara Bush had aortic valve replacement. Then, in March, Robin Williams had aortic valve replacement with a bovine valve and a mitral repair. Later that month, Aaron Boone, professional baseball player with the Houston Astros, had aortic valve repair.
Yesterday, we learned that actress Jenny Garth was diagnosed with a leaky heart valve over seven years ago.
“I have a leaky valve,” she explained. “And it’s a common thing. A lot of people have it, They don’t know they have it… [it] leaks blood.”
Jenny Garth’s condition is commonly referred to as valvular regurgitation in the medical community and can effect each of the four heart valves. Certain forms of regurgitation, including mitral regurgitation, impact approximately 2% of the population. Mitral valve prolapse is one of the leading causes of leaking heart valve.
At the current time, Jenny Garth is asymptomatic although the actress, most known for her role as Kelly Taylor on the wildly successful Beverly Hills 90210, produced by Aaron Spelling. Jenny Garth was also one of the contestants on Dancing With The Stars in 2005: Season 5 in 2007.
“I’ve been affected by heart disease practically my whole life,” Garth recently told Access’ Tony Potts at an American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women BetterU Program event. “My father has struggled with heart disease since he was 50, and I lost him a year ago.”
Garth said at times she actually feels it happening. “It’s your connection to your heart… your artery, the main artery that goes to your heart,” she said. “It sort of flutters open and shut sort of a thing, so you… it’s weird because sometimes when I’m resting I can feel a little weird fluttering.”
Though she’s able to currently lead a normal active life, she noted that surgery – heart valve replacement or heart valve repair – may be needed if symptoms arise.
Keep on tickin Jenny!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.