Facts about Congenital Heart Disease
- It is the most common birth defect, occurring in 1% of the population.
- There are about 35 known types of congenital heart defects.
- Each year congenital heart disease will affect about 90 babies born in Nova Scotia.
- Congenital heart defects are parts of the heart that do not form properly. They include“holes” in parts of the heart and missing or malformed parts of the heart.
- Congenital heart defects occur very early in a pregnancy, often even before a woman knows she is pregnant. CHDs occur during fetal development, the heart is formed during the first 6 weeks of development.
- What causes them is not very clear. One factor that seems to increase the risk of a defect is family history. If someone in your family has a defect, it is slightly more likely that your child will too. The risk increases from about 1 in 100 children to about 3 in 100.
- Most children with congenital heart problems are healthy or can be successfully treated to live normally. Many need specialized follow up care to maintain good health.
- There are now more adults with congenital heart disease in Canada than there are children, as a result of successful treatment when they
- Despite amazing advancements in treatments for congenital heart disease, some defects can be managed only with heart transplant or repeated surgeries to improve function and quality of life.