Jul 08, 2009
In the United States, about 1 in 200 births are affected with a congenital heart defect (from mild to severe).
A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a problem with the structure of the heart that may or may not be clinically apparent at birth. The heart begins to develop shortly after conception and completes development at about 9 weeks gestation. During development, structural defects can occur.
These defects can involve the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart (one way openings) as well as the arteries and veins near the heart. Congenital heart defects can disrupt the normal flow of blood through the heart.
A CHD can be isolated or part of an underlying genetic condition. CHDs may cause mild to severe problems depending on the type and severity of the defect. The problems may be more severe if an underlying genetic condition is present.
For more information on the genetic and non-genetic causes of congenital heart defects, visit: http://AccessDNA.com/condition/Congenital_Heart_Defects/101