If you’re new around here, you may not know that I was born with heart defects. You probably do know that in health care circles February is Heart Health Month, where we talk about heart disease and cardiovascular health and how heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US right now. And that’s all very important and every one of you (especially as you age) should take your blood pressure and cholesterol levels seriously.
This week, the emphasis is on Congenital Heart Disease. And so here and on the facebook page and on twitter I’m going to share my story and statistics about CHD, because my generation is part of the oldest generation of people living with CHD, so there’s a large knowledge gap, both among laymen and professionals.
And because I know several friends whose children have been diagnosed with CHD, and I probably have some readers who will have a child diagnosed with CHD, and I want to encourage you. I know it’s a scary diagnosis. I can’t imagine what it’s like sending your small child or little baby into an operating room for one of the most major invasive procedures there is – open heart surgery.
Today I want to share my story with you, which I’ve written on here previously. All three parts are linked here:
Some statistics about CHD (from the Adult Congenital Heart Association):
**About 1 out of every 100 babies is born with some type of congenital heart defect, affecting the structure and function of the heart and how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. And of these babies, 1 in 10 will not live until adulthood.
**There are estimated to be between 2-3 million people in the United States living with congenital heart disease, with adults outnumbering children.
**There is no cure, regardless of age and the number of surgeries. Congenital heart disease is a lifelong disease requiring lifelong care by congenital heart specialists, not general cardiologists.