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Can J Cardiol. 2014 Dec;30(12 Suppl):S410-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2014.07.749. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Adult congenital heart disease: a growing epidemic.

Author information

1
Montreal Heart Institute Adult Congenital Center, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
2
Montreal Heart Institute Adult Congenital Center, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address: paul.khairy@umontreal.ca.

Abstract

Medical and surgical breakthroughs in the care of children born with heart defects have generated a growing population of adult survivors and spawned a new subspecialty of cardiology: adult congenital heart disease. The prevalence of adult congenital heart disease is escalating at a rampant rate, outpacing the relatively static prevalence of pediatric congenital heart disease, because adults now surpass children in numbers by a ratio of 2:1. As such, congenital heart disease can no longer be considered primarily a pediatric specialty. Most congenital heart defects are not curable and require lifelong specialized care. Health care systems worldwide are challenged to meet the unique needs of this increasingly complex patient population, including the development of supraregional centres of excellence to provide comprehensive and multidisciplinary specialized care. In this review, we explore the incidence and prevalence of congenital heart disease and their changing patterns, address organization and delivery of care, highlight the importance of appropriate training and dedicated research, summarize the high burden of health care resource utilization, and provide an overview of common issues encountered in adults with congenital heart disease.

PMID:
25432136
DOI:
10.1016/j.cjca.2014.07.749
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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