What Are the Chances of Having Another Child with Congenital Heart Disease?

Heart disease impacts children—but how common is it in families?

Congenital heart disease and congenital heart defects can significantly alter a child’s life. Some people have minor cases, while others have severe ones. For parents, the diagnosis can come as quite a shock. As is the case with any medical condition, you might find yourself wondering where it came from—and what it means for future children. In this article, we will discuss the correlation between congenital heart disease and families.

Congenital Heart Disease and Families: What You Need to Know

Every family is different, and we all have different genetic breakdowns. Sometimes, our genetics can influence our children. We are going to take a closer look at whether or not you are more likely for another child to have congenital heart disease after your first child receives their diagnosis.

Is Congenital Heart Disease Hereditary?

Congenital heart disease can have genetic influences, but it is not necessarily guaranteed to travel through families. It is true that certain genetic factors can increase a child’s chance of developing this condition. However, it is generally believed that other factors also determine whether or not a child will be born with congenital heart disease.

Does Having a Child with Congenital Heart Disease Increase Your Chances of Another Child Having it?

If you have one child with congenital heart disease, you might find yourself wondering if it places your other children at an increased risk. The truth is that having a child with CHD can increase the likelihood that any future children might also have it. However, the likelihood doesn’t increase by that much.

How Likely is it That Your Second Child Will Have Congenital Heart Disease

In general, CHD impacts 1% of children. While it might sound small, it is quite a lot of children when you consider the global population. When one child has congenital heart disease, the likelihood that their siblings will also have it can increase by up to 4%. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that any siblings will have CHD, they are slightly more likely to.

What Does This Mean for Parents?

Education is a powerful tool, and knowing how these conditions work can help you to make decisions that you feel empowered to make. When you know the potential risks of a genetic component, you can ensure that you feel confident as you move forward with your family planning. 

The Takeaway

Congenital heart disease changes families, but when families work together, they change it too. Knowing the reality of life with CHD and its likelihood of existing in families can help you to understand the future of your family. At Conquering CHD, we are here to raise CHD awareness and help families to better understand these conditions and how they impact people all around the world.

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