Many people think that heart problems are conditions that only affect adults. But in fact:
One in every 100 newborns in the UAE is born with a congenital heart disease. This makes congenital heart disease the most common type of congenital disorder.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) occurs during the early stages of a mother's pregnancy, when the fetus's heart is still forming.
Conditions classified as congenital heart disease include: Abnormalities in the structure of the heart or the heart's electrical system
Congenital heart disease, or congenital heart defect, is a heart abnormality that's present at birth. The problem can affect:
Congenital heart disease is about 60 times more common than childhood cancer
Congenital heart disease is the most common cause of death in children associated with birth defects.
Congenital heart disease affects around 970 babies born in the UAE every year, making it the most common type of birth defect.
Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities cause some heart defects. Other risk factors include maternal smoking (during pregnancy), maternal obesity, maternal diabetes, and maternal infections such as rubella.
Congenital heart disease is a chronic condition that requires lifelong care. Surgery is not a cure.
Some types of complex heart defects are lifelong and require specialized care, often requiring additional surgeries and medications later in life.
Children with heart defects often have a lifelong risk of developing other medical problems and cognitive or developmental complications.
Caring for children with heart defects is a difficult and complex task that causes emotional and financial stress for families, and requires many hospital resources.
Parents need all kinds of support - informational, emotional and functional - to be able to cope with the stress of caring for a child with congenital heart disease.
There are few resources dedicated to the care of adult congenital heart disease patients in the UAE Only 3 cardiologists are formally trained to care for adult congenital heart disease patients, and only 4 surgeons with adult congenital heart disease expertise
For the first time in history, there are more adults than children with congenital heart disease thanks to improved treatment and care.