Sunday, May 21, 2006
Basic, but somehow little-known facts about congenital heart defects:
- Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are the most common form of birth defect worldwide. 87% of all birth defects are CHD, yet most parents have never even heard the words Congenital Heart Defect until their child is diagnosed with one.
- CHDs kill twice as many children as do all forms of childhood cancer combined.
- CHD research receives 1/5th the amount of funding that pediatric cancer research receives
- CHDs are the #1 cause of defect-related infant death in the US.
- 40,000 babies are born each year with a CHD, 10% of them are born with fatal defects, meaning 4000 babies a year will die from their CHD. That doesn't account for deaths due to surgical complications or infections occurring during/after open heart surgery.
- Approximately 1 in 100 babies (1%) each year are born with a CHD. The next leading defect, cerebral palsy, only affects 1 in 900 (0.1%)
- That risk increases when either parent has CHD or when another sibling was born with CHD.
- If you have had one child with congenital heart disease, the chance that another child will be born with CHD ranges from 1.5 to 5 percent, depending on the type of CHD in the first child.
- If you have had two children with CHD, then the risk increases to 5 to 10 percent, to have another child with CHD.
- If the mother has CHD, the risk for a child to be born with CHD ranges from 2.5 to 18 percent, with an average risk of 6.7 percent.
- If the father has CHD, the risk for a child to be born with CHD ranges from 1.5 to 3 percent.
- Some heart defects are considered to have autosomal-dominant inheritance; meaning that a parent with the defect has a 50 percent chance, with each pregnancy, to have a child with the same heart defect.
Congenital Heart Defects exist all around us. Chances are you've seen several (in the supermarket, at the mall) and didn't even know it. No one knows what causes CHDs, there is no known way to prevent them, and though they can in many cases be repaired, they cannot be cured. There are certain risk factors such as gestational diabetes, Rubella (during pregnancy) cocaine use, alcohol use, or the use of certain prescriptions such as acutane and anti-seizure medications, in 85 to 90 percent of the cases, however, there is no identifiable reason as to why the heart defect occurred.
Only through research can there be answers, only through funding can there be the necessary research, and only through awareness can the funding be found.
other sites I'd like to mention:
Tags: heart defects, congenital heart defects, CHD, birth defects
posted by Erin @ 2:15 PM