Congenital heart disease
Congenital heart disease is a general term for a range of birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart.
The term "congenital" means the condition is present at birth.
Congenital heart disease is one of the most common types of birth defect,affecting up to 9in every1,000 babies born in the UK.
In most cases, no obvious cause of congenital heart disease is identified. However, some things are known to increase the risk ofthe condition, including:
However, it's not always possible to detect congenital heart defects in this way.
Congenital heart disease can have a number of symptoms, including:
These problems aresometimes noticeable soon after birth, although mild defects may not cause any problems until later in life.
Some of the more common defects include:
Modern surgical techniques can often restore most or all of the heart's normalfunction, and nowadays about 80% of children with congenital heart disease will survive into adulthood.
However, people with congenital heart disease often need treatment throughout their life and therefore require specialist review during childhood and adulthood.This is because people with complex heart problems can develop further problems with their heart rhythm or valves over time.
Most surgery and interventional procedures aren't considered to be acure. The affected person's ability to exercisemay be limited, which can progress over time and may lead to the need for further surgery or intervention.
Some people with more complex congenital heart disease may not have a normal life span. It's important that a person with heart disease and their parents or carers discuss these issues with their specialist medical team.
This helps scientists look for better ways to prevent and treat this condition. You can opt out of the register at any time.
Congenital heart disease is a general term for a range of birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart. The term "congenital" means the condition is present at birth.
Congenital heart disease refers to a range of possible heart defects.
Congenital heart disease can have a range of symptoms, because the condition refers to several different types of heart defect.
Congenital heart disease is caused when something disrupts the normal development of the heart. It's thought that most cases occur when something affects the heart's development during about week five of pregnancy.
In many cases, congenital heart disease is diagnosed during pregnancy. However, a diagnosis may sometimes only be confirmed after the birth.
Treatment for congenital heart disease depends on the specific defect you or your child has.
Children and adults with congenital heart disease are at an increased risk of developing further problems. Many children with congenital heart disease experience delays in their development.
As so little is known about the causes of congenital heart disease, there's no guaranteed way of avoiding having a baby with the condition.