Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Congenital Heart Disease Up in Adults

As Many Adults as Children Living With Heart Defects From Birth
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 8, 2007 -- More children born with heart defects now survive to adulthood, suggesting a future surge in heart complications, a Canadian study shows.

Ariane J. Marelli, MD, of McGill University, Montreal, and colleagues analyzed data on congenital heart diseases collected by Canada's public health service from 1985 to 2000.

The researchers found that from 1985 to 2000, there was a huge increase in the percentage of teens and young adults who'd been born with severe heart defects.

The jump was so large that as of 2000, there were as many adults as children who'd been born with severe heart defects.

"The greater survival to adulthood may result in a shift in mortality beyond 18 years of age," Marelli and colleagues note. "This suggests that higher mortality rates can be expected in adults with severe congenital heart diseaseheart disease."

Marelli says her findings suggest that in the year 2000 there were 856,000 adult Americans who had been born with heart defects. And that number, she says, is increasing -- leading to what she considers a major, hidden public health problem.

"The increasing prevalence of congenital heart disease means these children will live longer and acquire other forms of heart disease," Marelli says in a news release. "We need to increase public awareness for congenital heart disease in order to be able to better care for the increasing number of young people with heart disease."

Marelli and colleagues report their findings in the Jan. 16 issue of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure