Congenital heart disease (congenital heart defect) is an abnormality in your heart's structure that you're born with. Although congenital heart disease is often considered a childhood condition, advances in surgical treatment mean most babies who once died of congenital heart disease survive well into adulthood. Congenital heart disease is common, occurring in ≈8 of 1000 live births. With the successes in cardiothoracic surgery over the past 3 decades and the ongoing improvements in the diagnostic, interventional, and critical care skills of pediatric cardiologists, ≈90% of children born with heart defects now survive to adulthood. In addition, using improved noninvasive techniques, adult cardiologists are increasingly identifying adults with septal defects that were undiagnosed in childhood. The adult congenital heart disease patients carry a spectrum of disease, from small septal defects and minor valvar obstructions to complex single-ventricle lesions that have been palliated with staged surgical repairs. It is estimated that >1 million adults in the United States now have congenital heart disease, outnumbering their pediatric counterparts for the first time.
Congenital heart disease can be mild or severe, treatment options vary. Your doctor may suggest a treatment to attempt to correct the heart defect itself or treat complications caused by the defect. Treatments your doctor may recommend include: Regular checkups, Medications, Implantable heart devices, Open-heart surgery. Women with congenital heart disease who wish to become pregnant should talk with their doctors before becoming pregnant. They should discuss possible risks, as well as any special care they might need during pregnancy.
Major research on disease:
CDC works to identify causes of heart defects, find opportunities to prevent them, and improve the health of those living with these conditions. Understanding the potential causes of heart defects can lead to recommendations, policies, and services to help prevent them. Researching health issues and needs across the lifespan can help us plan for services and ensure individuals born with these conditions are getting the care they need. The Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP) is a population-based tracking system for birth defects, including CHDs, among children born to residents of metropolitan Atlanta. Established in 1967, MACDP is the nation's first population-based system to actively track birth defects. A population-based tracking program allows researchers to look at all of the people with a certain condition (like a CHD) who live in a specific area. This is done so that researchers can get a complete picture of what is happening within the population. Statistics:
The incidence of CHD in different studies varies from about 4/1,000 to 50/1,000 live births. The relative frequency of different major forms of CHD also differs greatly from study to study. In addition, another 20/1,000 live births have bicuspid aortic valves, isolated anomalous lobar pulmonary veins or a silent patent ductus arteriosus. The incidences reported in 62 studies published after 1955 were examined. Attention was paid to the ways in which the studies were conducted, with special reference to the increased use of echocardiography in the neonatal nursery. The total incidence of CHD was related to the relative frequency of ventricular septal defects (VSDs), the most common type of CHD. The incidences of individual major forms of CHD were determined from 44 studies.