The aorta is the main artery that carries blood out of the heart to the rest of your body. Your blood flows out of your heart and into the aorta through the aortic valve. A build-up of calcium deposits on the valve can cause the valve to narrow, causing aortic stenosis.
When the leaflets on the aortic valve fail to open fully, you heart must work harder to push blood through the aortic valve to the rest of the body. Left untreated, your heart gets weaker, increasing the risk of heart failure.
People who have severe aortic stenosis have about a 50% chance of living 2 years and about a 20% chance of living 5 years, without aortic valve replacement.
Aortic stenosis occurs in about 2% of people over 65 years of age. It occurs more often in men than in women.