Adult Congenital Heart Disease: Scope of the Problem

Cardiol Clin. 2015 Nov;33(4):503-12, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.ccl.2015.07.001. Epub 2015 Aug 14.


This article reviews the changing epidemiology of congenital heart disease summarizing its impact on the demographics of the congenital heart disease population and the progress made in order to improve outcomes in this patient population. Birth prevalence of congenital heart disease can be modified by many factors. As a result of decreasing mortality and increasing survival in all forms of congenital heart disease, the median age of patients has increased and adults now compose two-thirds of patients with congenital heart disease. Disease burden and resulting health services utilization increase significantly across the lifespan. Bridging the gap between policy and quality of care can be improved by referral to specialized adult congenital heart disease centers and planning delivery of specialized services that are commensurate with population needs, program accreditation criteria and certified training of designated workforce.

Keywords: Adult; Congenital/epidemiology; Health services; Prevalence; Quality of care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiac Care Facilities
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Referral and Consultation