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- Each year about 1.3 million children are born with congenital heart disease (CHD).
- One in four will die without immediate intervention and many more will need childhood surgery to reach age 18. But 90% of the world’s children have no access to cardiac care.
- In many disadvantaged communities, untreated infections also can cause rheumatic heart disease (RHD).
- RHD is the most common children’s heart problem in many low-income countries. Worldwide there are an estimated 33 million people living with RHD.
- Both CHD and RHD patients need life-long special cardiac care to keep their hearts healthy. Even countries with excellent childhood heart care often struggle to care for these patients as they age.
- van der Linde, D., Konings, E. E., Slager, M. A., Witsenburg, M., Helbing, W. A., Takkenberg, J. J., & Roos-Hesselink, J. W. (2011). Birth prevalence of congenital heart disease worldwide: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 58(21), 2241-2247.
- Moller JH, Taubert KA, Allen HD, Clark EB, Lauer RM. Cardiovascular health and disease in children: current status. A Special Writing Group from the Task Force on Children and Youth, American Heart Association. Circulation 1994;89(2):923-930.
- Carapetis JR, Steer AC, Mulholland EK, Weber M. The global burden of group A streptococcal diseases. Lancet Infect Dis 2005;5:685-694.
- Watkins DA, Johnson CO, Colquhoun, SM, Karthikeyan G, Beaton A, Bukhman G, et al. Global, regional, and national burden of rheumatic heart disease, 1990-2015. N Engl J Med 2017; 377:713-722.