Doctors are not exactly sure what causes heart birth defects. In general, many defects seem to occur as the heart begins to form in the womb. Something causes the heart to form abnormally, but doctors do not know what sets that off. It is possible that certain illnesses, medications, or genetics may be a factor.
Christine Bussey, MD
Location and Office HoursNorthern Virginia Cardiology Associates
Fairfax, VA 22031
- Anthem Healthkeepers (BC/BS)
- CIGNA HealthCare
- CareFirst BlueChoice
- Coventry Health Care
- Kaiser Permanente Health Plans
- MDIPA/MAMSI (UnitedHealthcare)
- Optimum Choice/MAMSI (UnitedHealthcare)
- TRICARE North/HealthNet Federal Services
- United Healthcare
- What causes heart birth defects?
What are heart birth defects?
Heart birth defects are problems with the heart that are present at birth. Also known as congenital heart defects, they range from minor to life-threatening. Serious defects may include a complex defect that requires years of surgeries. In mild cases, however, a baby may be born with a tiny hole in the heart that closes up naturally.
Should I talk to my doctor about my valvular heart disease symptoms?
If you have valvular heart disease symptoms such as shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), or chest pain, you should go to the emergency room. As well, if you are a current patient with valvular heart disease, you should report any change in your symptoms to your doctor. For example, if you have new swelling or feel more tired than usual, alert your doctor. You should also let your doctor know immediately if you have symptoms of infective endocarditis, which is a serious condition; you may feel tired, have trouble breathing, have a fever and chills, have night sweats, develop swelling around your ankles, and have achy muscles.
See all Heart Disease questions