Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)

Definition - What does Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) mean?

Congenital heart disease is a heart condition that is present at birth. It is an abnormality of the heart where there may be a problem with the valves of the heart, the walls of the heart, or the blood vessels within or around the heart.

Any of the above can cause an obstruction, leakage, or reduced blood flow to and from the heart. The same can also impair the heart's ability to pump blood effectively.

Congenital heart disease is also known as congenital heart defect.

WorkplaceTesting explains Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)

Babies born with congenital heart disease may often experience problems breathing, have a bluish tint to their skin or be born with a low birth weight. In most cases, the condition is detected through an ultrasound during pregnancy.

Congenital heart disease is believed to be caused by different medical treatments and lifestyle factors during pregnancy. These may include using certain prescription medications, alcohol use or abuse during pregnancy, or contracting a viral infection when pregnant. The likelihood of developing a congenital heart defect may also be triggered by genetic factors and heredity, or if the mother has diabetes.

Not every case of congenital heart disease presents itself at birth and in some cases, symptoms may only become apparent during childhood or even adulthood. In these cases, treatment is administered based on the severity of the defect.

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