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Congenital heart defects (CHD) overview

Congenital heart disease describes defects of the heart or its vessels that are present at birth. They are the most common types of birth defect, affecting 1 out of every 120 babies. Some heart defects are severe, but many are not, ranging from simple defects with no symptoms, to complex defects with severe life-threatening symptoms. Each year, more than 35,000 babies in the United States are born with congenital heart defects. Most are simple defects that are easily corrected or do not need treatment. However, a small number of babies are born with complex heart defects and require special medical attention soon after birth. Over the past few decades, the diagnosis and treatment of these complex defects has greatly improved. Thanks to new and effective treatments, almost all children with complex heart defects grow to adulthood and can live active, productive lives. Most of these patients will nonetheless continue to need special heart care throughout their lives. Living with a congenital heart disease can also impact health insurance, employment, pregnancy, contraception, and the risk of infection during routine health procedures. Today, approximately 1 million American adults are living with congenital heart defects.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) overview

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