Who is affected by congenital heart defects

Congenital heart defects happen in about 8 out of 1,000 babies born in the United States.1 About one-third of these babies (2 or 3 out of 1,000 live births) have major defects that need surgery or have defects that may cause death during the first year of life.1 The number of congenital heart defects among babies born early (premature) is much higher—about 2 out of 100 births.2

Congenital heart defects affect a similar number of boys and girls. But the types of defects that are common in boys and girls tend to differ. Boys tend to have a greater risk for certain defects such as complete transposition. And girls tend to have a greater risk of other types of defects, such as atrial or ventricular septal defects.2

Citations

  1. Fulton DR (2008). Congenital heart disease in children and adolescents. In V Fuster et al., eds., Hurst's The Heart, 12th ed., pp. 1855–1921. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  2. Bernstein D (2007). Epidemiology and genetic basis of congenital heart disease. In RM Kliegman et al., eds., Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th ed., pp. 1878–1881. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.

Last Updated: October 12, 2009

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