Congenital Heart Defects v Acquired Heart Defects

There are two types of heart disease in children and adults which are “congenital” and “acquired.”

Congenital heart disease (also known as a congenital heart defect) is present at birth. Some defects in this category are patent ductus arteriosis, atrial septal defects and ventricular septal defects. Click here for more types of CHD’s.

Acquired heart disease, which develops during childhood, includes cardiomyopathy, kawasaki disease, rheumatic fever and infective endocarditis. Kawasaki disease and rheumatic fever (which causes rheumatic heart disease) are the two most common amongst children.

Aquired heart disease is more common amongst adults.

About 40,000 children are born with a heart defect each year. Most of these children can benefit from surgery even if the defect is severe. When surgery is necessary, many medical treatments are available to help the heart work properly. There is nothing that parents could have done to prevent these defects. Learn about conditions that can interfere with the work of the heart and treatment options in this section.

Kawasaki disease is an example of acquired heart disease that occurs primarily in children who are 5 or younger. Although medical knowledge of the disease is still developing, you can take steps to recognise the symptoms and deal with the disease’s effects.

It has been estimated that there are currently 250,000 adults with CHD in the UK and that it affects 8/1000 live births, this does not count all the children lost in pregnancy to CHD’s

At least eight of every 1,000 infants born each year have a heart defect. About 1 million Americans with cardiovascular defects are alive today. Though research is ongoing, at least 35 - 40 defects have now been identified.

Related Links

Carol and her husband have set up a webpage for the UK to raise more awareness of Kawasaki disease because their son suffered from it.

For more information about Kawasaki Disease click on this link:

Kawasaki Disease Foundation