CHD FACTS & STATISTICS

Did you know?

What is the most common type of birth defect?

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in the United States, affecting nearly 1% of―or about 40,000―births per year. (source: CDC)

What are congenital heart defects?

Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are present at birth. They include abnormalities in the heart’s structure, electrical system and other abnormalities that affect the function of the heart.

How many babies are born with heart defects?

Nearly 1 in 100 babies are born with a heart defect in the United States each year. (source: CHPHC)

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. (source: CHOP)

Additional Statistics:

  • Congenital heart defects are a leading cause of birth defect-associated infant illness and death. (source: CDC)
  • The prevalence of some congenital heart defects, especially mild types, is increasing, while the prevalence of other types has remained stable. (source: CDC)
  • About 25% of babies with a CHD have a critical CHD. Infants with critical CHDs generally need surgery or other invasive procedures within their first year of life. (source: CDC)
  • About 25% of people with a congenital heart defect have other physical problems or developmental or cognitive disorders. (source: CDC)
  • The cost for inpatient surgery to repair congenital heart defects exceeds $1.9 billion a year. (source: CDC)
  • In the United States, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD. (source: American Heart Association)
  • Congenital heart defects occur frequently and are often life threatening, yet research into them is grossly underfunded in relation to the prevalence of the disease.
  • Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding only a fraction of a penny is directed toward congenital heart defect research.
  • In the last decade death rates for congenital heart defects have declined by almost 30% due to advances made through research.
  • There are 40 different types of congenital heart defects. Little is known about the cause of most them. There is not yet a cure for any of them.

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