Congenital heart defects and diseases-

Congenital heart diseases (CHD), are structural problems with the heart  present at birth. Ventricular septal defects (VSDs) are the most common congenital cardiac anomaly.


There are several existing types which include-

 1. obstructive defects – eg aortic stenosis

2. Septal defects – eg- atrial septal defect

3. Cyanotic defects eg- tetralogy of fallot


Congenital defect occur as a result of the heart not developing normally  in the womb. Causes are-

  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Chromosomal defects
  • family history
  • mother’s health
  • exposure during pregnancy to environmental factors
  • Smoking during pregnancy
  • exposure to secondhand smoke
  •  excessive consumption of alcohol during pregnancy
  • Maternal viral infections


The complications may be cardiac or non-cardiac.

  • Cardiac failure
  • cyanosis
  • hepatic dysfunction
  • respiratory infections
  • stroke
  • seizures


Treatment options include medicines, surgery, and cardiac catheterization procedures.

Lifestyle Education:

  1.  Physical activity can lower many disease risk factors. Ask your doctor how much and what activities are safe for you or your child.
  2. consume plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  3. maintain healthy weight

The bottom line-

There are many types of congenital heart defects and congenital heart diseases. The most common defects involve the inside walls , the valves or the large blood vessels of the heart. Some defects require no treatment. A few of these conditions however require treatment, mostly surgical corrections soon after birth. Also, a few conditions may require repeat surgeries and a long term followup with cardiologists. With advances im diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, the survival rate of infants and children are improving.

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