Congenital heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among children during the first years of life. The condition is largely characterized by ventricular septal defect, ductus arteriosus and atrial septal defects. Studies show that 1 out of 120 babies is born with heart disease in the United States. CHD usually varies from mild defects (such as a tiny hole in the heart) to highly severe conditions (missing or poorly developed parts of the heart).
Here are some facts about CHD:
- A Big Percentage of Children Born in the US Have CHD
The majority of congenital heart defects cases are discovered at birth, where a baby’s heart is found to function abnormally. Statistics also indicate that it’s the most common type of heart defect experienced by babies. About 40,000 infants in the US are born with heart defects every year. However, the good news is that due to the contemporary advances in medicine, children affected by severe heart conditions can have surgery and survive.
- CHD Can Be Found before Birth
While most CHD conditions are discovered at and after birth, there are some that can be found before birth. Knowing the baby’s condition while it’s still in the womb can help parents plan for the child’s future. Habitually, a heart defect can be detected during standard medical ultrasound while the baby is still inside the mother’s womb.
- CHD Greatly Affects the Finances of Both Families and the Country
In the United States alone, the hospital cost for people experiencing heart defects/diseases has added up to about $1.4 billion per year. These costs include both individual and government contributions. That means tax payers always take a larger share of the burden. It’s even worse for families that get low wages and have limited income.
- CHD Is Not a Death Warrant Today
About 1.4 million children and adults are living with congenital heart disease in the United States today. The majority of these people have managed to attain a longer life span due to advanced medical treatments and care options available.
- CHD Are Preventable
While the cause of congenital heart disease is not known for certain, there’s a lot doctors suggest would-be mothers can do to prevent the condition. Medical experts suspect the condition is caused by a mix of genes and a number of other risk factors. According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention on National Birth Defects, women who were suffering from obesity, diabetes or smoked during pregnancy increased the chances of the baby being born with heart disease. So keeping a healthy weight, controlling diabetes and quitting smoking have been found to offer great results in preventing congenital heart defect.