You may be one of the growing number of adults born with a heart defect. Today, because of improvements in early diagnosis during pregnancy, treatment in the early neonatal period, surgical techniques, and pre- and post-operative treatments, there are more adults than children living with congenital heart disease. According to the Congenital Heart Public Health Consortium, roughly 1-1.5 million adults in the United States likely have a heart defect.
In fact, today, some 85-90 percent of children born with a heart defect survive to adulthood. As recently as the 1940s, only 20 percent of children born with a heart defect lived to age 16.
The first generations of adults with congenital heart disease have found themselves in uncharted territory. You may wonder, “How does congenital heart disease affect adulthood?” While most adults with congenital heart disease now have better odds of living normal lives than ever before, special considerations remain. Most people with congenital heart disease need some specialized adult congenital heart disease care.
Click on the following links to learn about some of the more common congenital heart defects that may affect adults: