Heart disease, in general, is the number one cause of death worldwide; more people die of heart disease than from cancer.
There are about one million people in the U.S.A. who have congenital heart defects, although not all of these defects are valvular. Having a congenital heart defect is the most common type of defect that affects newborns.
Valvular heart disease is most common among elderly people, but it can also be present in babies at birth. Valvular heart disease, specifically, aortic heart valve disease, is more common in people born with a congenital aortic valve defect. This affects about 1-2 percent of all babies born.