Congenital Heart Defects

I am determined not to let my heart disease limit me.

Deborah, living with congenital heart disease

On my next visit to the doctor, I want to be prepared.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

I'm willing to try a new treatment or medication.

Congenital means present from birth. So, congenital heart defects refers to a number of different conditions that can occur when a baby’s heart is forming or at birth. As a result, the heart—or the major vessels in and around the heart—may not develop or work the way they should.

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. Roughly 8 of every 1,000 babies are born with some sort of structural defect in their hearts. These problems cause more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defects. Some examples are atrial septal defect, coarctation of the aorta, and aortic stenosis.

But, there is good news. More babies are surviving than ever before thanks to advances in treating and correcting many of these problems. Although most defects are found during pregnancy by ultrasound or in early childhood, some defects aren’t discovered until adulthood. About 1 million adults are living with congenital heart disease. 

If you or your child have a heart defect, it can be very scary. But there are a number of treatment options depending on the type of defect and the symptoms. It’s important to find a cardiologist who specializes in congenital heart defects and get support. Use this condition center to learn more about congenital heart defects. You can also chat online with others like you and keep up with the latest research.

Congenital Heart Defects News & Events

Understanding the Tobacco Control Act

May 02, 2013

A review of the law that helps protect the public against health problems caused by tobacco use.

Clinical Trials Shed Light on Minority Health

Clinical Trials Shed Light on Minority Health

Apr 26, 2013
Increasing minority participation in clinical trials can help ensure effectiveness and safety of drugs and devices for all Americans.

Binge Drinking Harms the Heart

Apr 23, 2013
A study highlights the negative impact that excessive drinking can have on the heart—even in young, healthy individuals.

Save Money with These Prescription Drug Secrets

Apr 16, 2013

Following these tips and shopping around could help you save $100 or more a month depending on the drug.

Witnessing CPR Helps Reassure Family Members, Provides Closure

Apr 15, 2013

Researchers find that family members who observed CPR on their loved ones are significantly less likely to have post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. 

Despite Lifesaving Benefits, Fewer Women Than Men Get Cardiac Rehab

Mar 09, 2013
Women with coronary artery disease can improve their heart health and reduce their risk of dying from heart disease by attending cardiac rehabilitation.

Do Financial Conflicts of Interest Impact Study Results?

Feb 21, 2013
According to a recent study, funding sources and conflicts of interest have no impact on the outcome of medical studies and trials.

Calcium Supplements May Increase Cardiovascular Risk in Men

Feb 19, 2013
While more research is needed, new findings show how calcium supplements could affect heart health in men.

CardioSmart Partners with Hospitals for National Heart Health Screening Day

Feb 14, 2013
CardioSmart is collaborating with hospitals nationwide to offer free heart health screenings to local residents.

American College of Cardiology Spotlights Heart Health Through Fashion

Feb 05, 2013
Live stream the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show and participate in other events for this national heart health awareness movement.
Spirit of the Heart

Spirit of the Heart—Helping Improve Your Community's Heart Health

Jan 29, 2013

Spirit of the Heart events offer heart disease screening and events in underserved communities.

Resources to Help You Compare Treatment Options

Nov 07, 2012
Guidance from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in making health decisions
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing for Adults with CHD

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing for Adults with CHD

Jan 12, 2012
Exercise testing provides useful information for patients with congenital heart disease.

Get CardioSmart

You're Invited

CardioSmart Points

Log in to Check Your Balance
and Go Shopping

Learn how to earn more CardioSmart Points