Congenital heart disease (also called congenital heart defects) occurs when there is a problem with the heart that is present at birth. It can affect the heart's shape, how it works or both. Even though congenital heart disease is traditionally considered a childhood condition, advances in surgical treatment mean that babies who once might have died are now surviving well into adulthood. About one out of every 100 Americans are born with some type of congenital heart disease in which some part of the heart doesn't form properly.


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