Send to

Choose Destination
Circulation. 2007 Jan 16;115(2):163-72. Epub 2007 Jan 8.

Congenital heart disease in the general population: changing prevalence and age distribution.

Author information

McGill Adult Unit for Congenital Heart Disease, McGill University Health Center, 1650 Cedar Ave, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1A4.



Empirical data on the changing epidemiology of congenital heart disease (CHD) are scant. We determined the prevalence, age distribution, and proportion of adults and children with severe and other forms of CHD in the general population from 1985 to 2000.


Where healthcare access is universal, we used administrative databases that systematically recorded all diagnoses and claims. Diagnostic codes conformed to the International Classification of Disease, ninth revision. Severe CHD was defined as tetralogy of Fallot, truncus arteriosus, transposition complexes, endocardial cushion defects, and univentricular heart. Prevalence of severe and other CHD lesions was determined in 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000 using population numbers in Quebec. Children were subjects <18 years of age. The prevalence was 4.09 per 1000 adults in the year 2000 for all CHD and 0.38 per 1000 (9%) for those with severe lesions. Female subjects accounted for 57% of the adult CHD population. The median age of all patients with severe CHD was 11 years (interquartile range, 4 to 22 years) in 1985 and 17 years (interquartile range, 10 to 28 years) in 2000 (P<0.0001). The prevalence of severe CHD increased from 1985 to 2000, but the increase in adults was significantly higher than that observed in children. In the year 2000, 49% of those alive with severe CHD were adults.


The prevalence in adults and median age of patients with severe CHD increased in the general population from 1985 to 2000. In 2000, there were nearly equal numbers of adults and children with severe CHD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center