Get the facts about congenital heart defects and find out how you can help.
What is the most common type of birth defect?
Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting approximately 40,000 babies in the United States each year.
What are congenital heart defects?
Congenital heart defects occur in the early stages of pregnancy, when the heart is forming. Congenital heart defects include abnormalities in the heart’s structure, electrical system and other abnormalities that affect the function of a baby’s heart.
How many babies are born with heart defects?
Each year, nearly 1 out of nearly 100 babies is born with some type of congenital heart defect in the United States, and approximately 1 million babies are born with heart defects worldwide.
What are the most complex types of congenital heart defects?
Single ventricle heart defects, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, are among the most complex and challenging forms of congenital heart defects to treat.
Are heart defects in children more prevalent than childhood cancer?
Yes. In fact, congenital heart defects are approximately 60 times more prevalent than childhood cancer.
What causes congenital heart defects?
Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities cause some heart defects. Other risk factors include maternal smoking during pregnancy, maternal obesity, maternal diabetes and maternal infections such as rubella.