Congenital Heart Disease Death Rate Down

But mortality is higher among certain ethnic and racial groups

TUESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The mortality rate for children and adults has declined in individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD), but there is still significant mortality in adults, and ethnic/racial disparities persist, according to research published online Nov. 22 in Circulation.

Suzanne M. Gilboa, Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined death certificate data, census population counts, and live birth data between 1999 and 2006 to calculate yearly CHD deaths by age, race-ethnicity, and sex.

The researchers found 41,494 CHD-related deaths and 27,960 deaths caused by CHD during that time, with a 24.1 percent overall decline in mortality resulting from CHD. CHD mortality declined significantly among all race-ethnicities studied, but disparities remained, with higher mortality among non-Hispanic blacks than non-Hispanic whites. Nearly half (48.1 percent) of mortality occurred in infancy, but for those who survived the first year of life, 76.1 percent of mortality occurred at age 18 or older.

"CHD mortality continued to decline among both children and adults; however, differences between race-ethnicities persisted. A large proportion of CHD-related mortality occurred during infancy, although significant CHD mortality occurred during adulthood, indicating the need for adult CHD specialty management," the authors write.

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