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  • Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth.

  • CHDs are the most common birth defects. CHDs occur in almost 1% of births.

  • Approximately 100-200 deaths are due to unrecognized heart disease in newborns each year. These numbers exclude those dying before diagnosis.

  • Nearly 40,000 infants in the U.S. are born each year with CHDs.

  • CHDs are the most common cause of infant death due to birth defects.

  • Approximately 25% of children born with a CHD will need heart surgery or other interventions to survive.

  • Over 85% of babies born with a CHD now live to at least age 18. However, children born with more severe forms of CHDs are less likely to reach adulthood.

  • Surgery is often not a cure for CHDs. Many individuals with CHDs require additional operation(s) and/or medications as adults.

  • People with CHDs face a life-long risk of health problems such as issues with growth and eating, developmental delays, difficulty with exercise, heart rhythm problems, heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest or stroke.

  • Most causes of CHDs are unknown. Only 15-20% of all CHDs are related to known genetic conditions.

  • It is estimated that at least 280 infants with unrecognized critical CHD are discharged from the newborn nurseries each year in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

Information from Congenital Heart Public Health Consortium

https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/chphc/chd_fact_sheet_short.pdf

https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/chphc/chd_fact_sheet_long.pdf

Congenital heart defects are common and can be deadly, yet CHD research is grossly under-funded relative to the prevalence of the disease. Increased awareness means more funding, more research, and better outcomes for our children.                       

CHD Facts