Mortality resulting from congenital heart disease among children and adults in the United States, 1999 to 2006

Circulation. 2010 Nov 30;122(22):2254-63. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.947002. Epub 2010 Nov 22.


Background: Previous reports suggest that mortality resulting from congenital heart disease (CHD) among infants and young children has been decreasing. There is little population-based information on CHD mortality trends and patterns among older children and adults.

Methods and results: We used data from death certificates filed in the United States from 1999 to 2006 to calculate annual CHD mortality by age at death, race-ethnicity, and sex. To calculate mortality rates for individuals ≥1 year of age, population counts from the US Census were used in the denominator; for infant mortality, live birth counts were used. From 1999 to 2006, there were 41,494 CHD-related deaths and 27,960 deaths resulting from CHD (age-standardized mortality rates, 1.78 and 1.20 per 100,000, respectively). During this period, mortality resulting from CHD declined 24.1% overall. Mortality resulting from CHD significantly declined among all race-ethnicities studied. However, disparities persisted; overall and among infants, mortality resulting from CHD was consistently higher among non-Hispanic blacks compared with non-Hispanic whites. Infant mortality accounted for 48.1% of all mortality resulting from CHD; among those who survived the first year of life, 76.1% of deaths occurred during adulthood (≥18 years of age).

Conclusions: CHD mortality continued to decline among both children and adults; however, differences between race-ethnicities persisted. A large proportion of CHD-related mortality occurred during infancy, although significant CHD mortality occurred during adulthood, indicating the need for adult CHD specialty management.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black People / ethnology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / ethnology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People / ethnology
  • Young Adult