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How do other illnesses affect congenital heart disease?

Depending on the heart defect and its treatment, different individuals will have different reactions to other illnesses. In general, infections can be a serious and persistent issue for someone born with any heart birth defect.

You should always be very careful about getting sick. Since your heart has already been weakened by your congenital heart defect, you can succumb more easily to infection. In addition, any disease that has the potential to damage your heart can possibly be more serious, as your heart is already damaged. One disease in particular that you should be careful of is infective endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the heart.

Some people will have to take an antibiotic any time they need surgery or procedures done in order to prevent infection. In addition, women who were born with a serious heart defect may need closer monitoring during pregnancy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.