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Born with a Heart Defect? Your Life Span Can Be Normal

Congenital Heart DiseaseBabies born today with heart defects are more likely than ever to live into adulthood.

According to recent studies in Finland and Norway, more children treated for simple defects are having near-normal life spans. More children treated for riskier, complex defects also are living longer.

“This is encouraging news,” says David Majdalany, MD, a cardiovascular specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center. “I anticipate that these positive trends will continue as our expertise evolves with surgical and non-surgical procedures.”

However, patients born with heart defects typically need lifelong cardiac checkups, he notes. And health concerns that commonly come with aging — such as menopause, erectile dysfunction and various cardiovascular diseases — can be more complicated for those who survived congenital heart disease. Learn more about the study.