Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD)
August 20, 2016•9 min
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a problem present at birth that involves the structure of the heart, its valves, or blood vessels. It is the most common type of birth defect, affecting about one in 100 babies. Thanks to medical advances, increasing numbers of children with CHD are surviving into adulthood. Common problems associated with ACHD include difficulty with exercise, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmia), endocarditis (infection of the heart’s inner lining, often in the heart’s valves), heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, and premature death.As the only adult congenital heart disease program in Alabama and one of only a handful in the country, our expertise greatly increases the chances that symptoms will be identified early. This helps ensure that smaller problems are addressed before they develop into larger, more life-threatening issues such as heart failure, arrhythmia, residual congenital heart defects, endocarditis, and stroke.Listen in as Marc G. Cribbs, MD explains that thanks to medical advances, increasing numbers of children with CHD are surviving into adulthood. In fact, the number of adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) now exceeds the number of children living with CHD.