While heart attacks remain a leading cause of death in the U.S., over 5 million Americans are also diagnosed with heart valve disease like aortic stenosis.                                 

This is caused by the tightening of the heart valve known as the aorta. It prevents the heart from effectively pumping blood to the rest of the body. This can lead to shortness of breath and chest pain.

Once the valve becomes too tight, the only treatment is valve replacement which may mean open heart surgery.

Doctors say the causes can range from genetics to aging.

Racial minorities have been disproportionately affected by this silent killer.

Doctors say the best way to beat heart disease is to be proactive and talk to your doctor early if you are experiencing symptoms of heart disease.