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Cardiol Young. 2014 Oct;24(5):866-71. doi: 10.1017/S1047951113001194. Epub 2013 Oct 8.

Congenital heart disease in 37,294 births in Tunisia: birth prevalence and mortality rate.

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  • 11Cardiology Department,Hedi Chaker Hospital,Sfax,Tunisia.
  • 22Department of Pediatrics,Hedi Chaker Hospital,Sfax,Tunisia.
  • 33Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,Hedi Chaker Hospital,Sfax,Tunisia.
  • 44Pediatric Intensive Care Unit,Hedi Chaker Hospital,Sfax,Tunisia.
  • 55Department of Forensic Medicine,Habib Bourguiba Hospital,Sfax,Tunisia.
  • 66Department of Epidemiology,Hedi Chaker Hospital,Sfax,Tunisia.



To investigate the previously unknown birth incidence, treatment, and mortality of children with congenital heart disease in Tunisia.


We undertook a retrospective review of medical records of all patients who were born in 2010 and 2011, and were diagnosed in Sfax (Tunisia) with congenital heart defect.


Among 37,294 births, 255 children were detected to have congenital heart disease, yielding a birth incidence of 6.8 per 1000. The most frequently occurring conditions were ventricular septal defects (31%), ostium secundum atrial septal defects (12.9%), and pulmonary valve abnormalities (12%). Coarctation of the aorta, tetralogy of Fallot, univentricular physiology, pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect, and transposition of the great arteries were found in 4.3%, 6.2%, 3.4%, 2.7%, and 2.7%, respectively. During the follow-up of 1 year, 23% of the children died. About three-quarters of those deaths happened before surgery.


The present study is in line with the general estimates in the world. It has revealed a high case of mortality among the patients awaiting corrective surgery. These children need more facilities.

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