When is chd awareness week 2023?

Congenital heart disease (CHD) awareness week occurs annually from February 7th to February 14th. This week is a time to promote awareness of CHD and raise money for lifesaving research and support for people with the condition.

Reach out to Conquering CHD to learn more about how CHD impacts people’s lives or find support and information about this condition.

What is Congenital Heart Disease?

A congenital condition means that a person is born with it. Congenital heart disease is one or more problems with the structure of the heart that occur during gestation. 

Congenital heart disease affects millions of adults and children in the United States. There are many kinds of heart defects, and people’s symptoms vary depending on the complexity of their heart defects.

Some symptoms of CHD in adults include:

  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Blue lips, fingernails, and skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Becoming tired quickly while active
  • Edema–swelling of the tissues or organs

In some cases, CHD can be mild and have minor symptoms. But in other cases, complex defects can cause life-threatening problems and require intensive treatments, including surgery. All people living with CHD must have regular, lifelong medical supervision and treatment. 

The Goals of CHD Awareness Week

Research, information, and treatment are essential for people living with CHD and their communities. The goals of CHD awareness week are to raise awareness about this condition and to raise more money to fund the research that will lead to better treatments and outcomes. 

Before 1940, there was very little progress toward treating CHD and helping people live longer with this condition. At the time, a congenital heart disease diagnosis was considered a death sentence.

 In 1938, a doctor performed a groundbreaking surgical procedure to treat the condition. Throughout the following decades, more treatment and surgical advancements were made. In 1983, a doctor performed an arterial operation on an 11-day-old baby, which was the first procedure of its kind. This surgery represented a new hope for people born with congenital heart defects and their families. 

Modern science has gone on to produce more life-saving treatments that allow most people–about 90%–born with CHD to survive into adulthood. But more research is needed to provide life-saving treatments for each person with CHD. Better treatment options can lead to a better quality of life, more years, and better outcomes for everyone living with this condition.

Who is Affected by Congenital Heart Disease?

Researchers have been unable to pinpoint one clear cause for congenital heart disease. It’s believed that genetic and environmental factors may increase the risk of CHD. 

Some of the factors medical experts believe increase the risk of CHD include:

  • Genetics–the condition may be passed down from family members
  • German measles (Rubella)–contracting Rubella during pregnancy increases the risk of heart defects
  • Diabetes (Type 1 and 2)–having diabetes during pregnancy can affect the way a baby’s heart develops
  • Medications–taking certain medications during pregnancy, including Lithium and Isotretinoin, can raise the risk of heart defects
  • Alcohol–drinking while pregnant is linked to an increased risk of birth defects
  • Smoking–congenital heart defects are more common in babies with mothers who smoked during pregnancy

It is essential to understand and manage the risks of CHD when possible. 

Find Support for CHD

Discover new ways to participate in CHD awareness week by reaching out to the team at Conquering CHD. Our organization offers guidance, education, and community support for people living with CHD and their families.

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