Congenital Heart Disease Awareness
In 2022 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (CHD) is from February 7th to February 14th.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are heart conditions present in babies at birth. They are the most common type of birth defect. CHDs affect the structure and function of a baby’s heart. Examples of CHDs include mild defects, such as a small hole in the heart and sever defects, such as missing parts of the heart. An estimated 1 in 4 babies born with CHDs have a critical CHD. Critical CHDs are the most serious, life-threating heart defects babies can be born with. Babies born with critical CHDs need surgery or other procedures in their first year of life.
CHD Awareness week is a time to shine a light on those living with CHDs and a time to raise awareness about CHDs. It is crucial everyone is informed of the symptoms, types, and treatment of CHDs to help those living with CHDs and possibly save someone’s else’s life. To help everyone affected by CHDs, encourage others to stay educated and donate to funding, helping work towards the goal of improving the lives of CHD patients.
Types of Congenital Heart Defects
Atrial Septal Defect
Atrioventricular Septal Defect
Ventricular Septal Defect
Critical Congenital Heart Defects
Coarctation of the Aorta
Double-outlet Right Ventricle
d-Transposition of the Great Arteries
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Interrupted Aortic Arch
Tetralogy of Fallot
Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return
Symptoms of Congenital Heart Defects
Blue-tinted nails or lips
Fast or troubled breathing
Tiredness when feeding
There is no cure for CHDs. Many babies may need multiple surgeries or procedures from infancy to childhood to repair the heart. As treatment continues to advance people born with CHDs are able to live longer healthier lives.
Congenital Heart Defects According to the CDC
CHDs affect nearly 1% of―or about 40,000―births per year in the United States.
The prevalence (the number of babies born with heart defect compared to the total number of births) of some CHDs, especially mild types, is increasing, while the prevalence of other types has remained stable. The most common type of heart defect is a ventricular septal defect (VSD).
About 1 in 4 babies with a CHD have a critical CHD. Infants with critical CHDs generally need surgery or other procedures in their first year of life.
Infant deaths due to CHDs often occur when the baby is less than 28 days old
Survival of infants with CHDs depends on how severe the defect is, when it is diagnosed, and how it is treated.
About 97% of babies born with a non-critical CHD are expected to survive to one year of age. About 95% of babies born with a non-critical CHD are expected to survive to 18 years of age. Thus, the population of people with CHDs is growing.
About 75% of babies born with a critical CHD are expected to survive to one year of age. About 69% of babies born with critical CHDs are expected to survive to 18 years of age.
Survival and medical care for babies with critical CHDs are improving. Between 1979 and 1993, about 67% of infants with critical CHDs survived to one year. Between 1994 and 2005, about 83% of infants with critical CHDs survived to one year.
About 4 in every 10 adults with heart defects have a disability, with cognitive disabilities (trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions) being the most common type.
At least 15% of CHDs are associated with genetic conditions.
About 20% to 30% of people with a CHD have other physical problems or developmental or cognitive disorders.
Children with CHD are about 50% more likely to receive special education services compared to children without birth defects.
1. “CHD Awareness Week.” Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta , https://www.choa.org/patients/patient-family-events/chd-awareness-week.
2. “Data and Statistics on Congenital Heart Defects.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Jan. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/data.html.
3. “What Are Congenital Heart Defects?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Jan. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/facts.html.