How Common is Congenital Heart Disease?

Congenital Heart Disease influences people every year—find out just how common it is.

Before a baby is born, we cannot always know what life will have in store for them. Every year, a high number of children are diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD). The impacts that CHD can have are significant, yet most parents don’t realize just how common this disease really is. While it might be considered rare, that doesn’t mean that it only impacts a few babies each year. In this article, we will break down key statistics pertaining to congenital heart disease.

Congenital Heart Disease by the Numbers

Given its potential to cause life-threatening problems, congenital heart disease is considered very serious. While most people think that very few people are impacted by CHD, you might be surprised to learn just how big the numbers really are. Let’s break them down.

What Percentage of the Population Does CHD Affect?

In the United States, congenital heart disease affects just under 1% of newborns every single year. Seeing this number, it can seem like this really only affects a few babies—but this really isn’t true. In reality, CHD influencing only 1% of the population is still devastating. A small percentage can turn into a very large number.

How Many Babies Are Impacted by Congenital Heart Disease Annually?

While most of us would consider 1% of the population to be a very small amount, it is important to remember just how large the total population is in the United States. Current estimates suggest that well over 10,000 new babies are born in the United States each day. In reality, millions of babies are born each year. Though CHD might only affect 1% of the population’s new babies, that 1% is estimated to be about 40,000 babies a year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Is CHD Rare?

Affecting only 1% of new babies, congenital heart disease is considered to be fairly rare. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a big problem. The effects of congenital heart disease can be devastating, and 40,000 infants being diagnosed with a disease that can be deadly in some instances is still a very high number. Instead of thinking that it is rare, we need to really think in terms of how many families are impacted by CHD.

The Takeaway

Congenital heart disease touches families every year, and it is an unpredictable disease that can cause different levels of impact. If you or a loved one are seeking CHD support for yourself or your family, we are happy to help. Living with congenital heart disease can come with complications throughout a person’s entire life, which is why a sense of support and community is so important. We are here to offer support, encouragement, visibility, and a voice to those who are impacted by CHD.

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