Learn about common birth defects

Not only is February American Heart Month, it also includes Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week — Feb. 7-14. CHD week is a national event designed to educate the public and raise awareness about the frequency and effects of congenital heart disease. Here are some quick facts about congenital heart disease:

  • An average of 1 in 110 babies is born with a CHD, making it the most common of all birth defects.
  • CHDs are the most common cause of infant death related to birth defects.
  • About 40,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed each year with a CHD, and about 10 percent don’t live to see their first birthday.
  • There are more than 35 identified CHDs and a baby may be born with one or multiple heart defects.
  • Common symptoms of CHD include problems breathing, pounding heart, weak pulse, very pale or blue skin color, poor feeding, lethargy and extreme sleepiness.
  • More than 20,000 people with CHD underwent cardiovascular surgery in 2010 in North America. Of those, 55 percent were newborns or infants and 38 percent were children between 1 and 18 years old.

Ranked in the Top 50 congenital heart centers in the nation, the UF Health Congenital Heart Center provides the full range of congenital heart services to newborns through adults, including fetal cardiology, noninvasive imaging, interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, heart and heart-lung transplants and adult congenital cardiology.
Visit UFHealth.org/uf-health-congenital-heart-center/overview for more information.

Sources: Congenital Public Health Consortium, American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.