Heart birth defects can often stunt growth. Children will often develop later and more slowly. Developmental milestones, such as walking and talking, may be delayed. Children with heart birth defects may need surgery, lifelong medications, or at the very least an awareness of their heart defect to avoid future complications down the line.
Gregory R. Giugliano, MD
- interventional cardiology
Location and Office HoursBaystate Medical Center
Springfield, MA 01199
- BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts
- ConnectiCare (EmblemHealth)
- Fallon Health
- Great-West Healthcare Cigna
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
- Health New England
- Tufts Health Plan
- United Healthcare
- Baystate Medical Center
- How do heart birth defects affect the body?
What is coronary heart disease?
Coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease or simply heart disease, is the narrowing of arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The buildup of plaque over time causes the narrowing, hardening the arteries and constricting blood flow to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause shortness of breath, chest pains, and heart attack. It is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
How common is sudden cardiac death in young athletes?
Sudden cardiac death in young athletes is very rare. The estimated yearly rate varies from one country to another, however. In the United States, it is estimated that 1 out of 200,000 to 1 out of 100,000 high school athletes dies suddenly while participating in sports. By comparison, in Italy the rate of sudden death among athletes is estimated to be about 3 in 100,000, while in Norway the rate is estimated to be just under 1 in 100,000.
The differences in rates of sudden death may be due to differences in the mix of ages or genders in the groups studied, or it may reflect population-wide differences in the genetic make-up of the athletes.
Participation in sports does seem to increase the risk of sudden death, however small. For example, a study from Italy found that teens and young adults who play sports were nearly three times as likely to die suddenly when compared to people of a similar age who did not play sports.
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