CHD Facts

What is a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD)?

Congenital means it is present at birth. Heart defects begin in the early part of the pregnancy when the baby’s heart is forming.

What is the #1 Birth Defect?

Congenital Heart Defects.

How Many Different Types of CHD are there?

There are approximately 35 different types of CHD.

What Causes a CHD?

Unfortunately, they have not determined what causes heart defects, however, it is guessed that genetic and environmental factors play a role.

How Many Babies are Born with CHD?

Approximately 40,000 babies are born each year in the United States with a CHD, at least 8,000 of them won’t live to see their first birthday. That equates to about 1 in 100 babies born have a heart defect. More than 50% of children born with CHD will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime.

Is there a Prenatal Test?

An echocardiogram can accurately detect many heart defects, however, this test is performed by a specialized doctor and not an obstetrician. Some heart defects can be detected through routine ultrasound.

How are CHDs Treated?

While there are treatments for most CHDs, there’s no cure. It is a lifelong disease. Today most heart detects can be corrected or helped with surgery, medicine or devices such as artificial valves and pacemakers. In the last 25 years, advances in treatment of heart defects have enabled half a million U.S. children with significant heart defects to survive into adulthood.