The challenge of congenital heart disease worldwide: epidemiologic and demographic facts

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg Pediatr Card Surg Annu. 2010;13(1):26-34. doi: 10.1053/j.pcsu.2010.02.005.


Congenital heart disease (CHD) afflicts a large number of children every year. The incidence of CHD is generally considered to be 8 per 1,000 live births. However, this estimate is perhaps inaccurate and does not take into consideration regional differences. A large review of the literature was performed to establish the true incidence of CHD and geographical variations. Data on the incidence of specific lesions and their geographical variation, as well as on mortality from CHD, was also reviewed. Taking into consideration the available data on incidence, mortality, and access to care, the global challenge that CHD represents was analyzed. Insight into how to confront this challenge is given.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Coarctation / epidemiology
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Developed Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Global Health*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pulmonary Veins / pathology
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / epidemiology