A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a heart problem that’s present at birth. It’s caused by improper development of the heart during fetal development.
- 1 percent of babies are born with a CHD.
- Nine out of every 1,000 babies born in the US are born with a congenital heart abnormality.
- One third of these babies require intervention to prevent death in the first year of life.
- 85 to 90 percent of CHDs have no known causes.
- 5 to 6 percent are related to chromosome abnormality.
- 3 to 5 percent are related to single gene defects.
- 2 percent are related to environmental factors.
- Approximately 1.3 million people living in the US today were born with a congenital heart defect, and at least half of these individuals are under age 25.
How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches congenital heart defects
The first operation to correct a congenital heart defect was performed in 1938 by Boston Children’s surgeon, Robert Gross, MD. Today, we perform more than 1,200 cardiac surgeries each year.