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Most of the time congenital heart defects (CHD) are often diagnosed and treated during childhood, but at least 10 percent of all patients will have a diagnosis that isn’t made until adulthood. There are currently over one million adults living with congenital heart disease in the United States with the adult population expected to grow by 5 percent annually. As a result of continued improvements in the medical and surgical care of patients with congenital heart defects, there is an increased lifespan for the patients that once may have had a limiting life.
It’s important for patient with CHD to routinely (yearly, at least) meet with their physician who specializes in the care and long-term management of patients with CHD, keeping in mind that a cardiologist with additional subspecialty training in congenital heart disease is the best partner for managing their lifelong condition.
The healthcare team in the Congenital Heart Program at Cedars-Sinai will work with patients on a variety of quality of life issues, such as:
- Living a productive life
- Activity and exercise to promote a heart healthy lifestyle
- Nutrition and diet
- Family planning and reproduction