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Indicator Report - Birth Defects: Congenital Heart Defects

Why Is This Important?

Congenital heart defects are among the most common birth defects. Many affected children require medical and surgical treatment. Even after treatment, some children may be at increased risk of illness and death because of cardiovascular complications, rhythm abnormalities, or other long-term adverse events.

As treatment and support continually improves, an increasing number of affected people live longer and healthier lives. Adolescents and adults that have been successfully treated now represent a growing group in the population and have specific health care needs.

Tracking congenital heart defects in Utah is crucial in assessing the impact of these common conditions, evaluating their causes, and helping to plan appropriately for the care of affected children and adults.

Burden of disease and medical costs associated with congenital heart defects are substantial. $1.2 billion is the estimated lifetime cost for U.S. children born in a single year with one of four major heart defects (tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries, single ventricle, truncus arteriosus) (Waitzman and collaborators, 1994).

Heart Defects: Prevalence of Heart Defects, Overall and by Race/Ethnic Groups, Utah, 1999-2007

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Data Sources

Utah Birth Defect Network. Utah Department of Health.

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Number of cases of major heart defects per 1,000 births.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: Number of cases of major heart defects among live births and fetal deaths occurring among women residing in Utah. This number excludes mild or minor conditions such as isolated patent foramen ovale, patent ductus arteriosus, and muscular ventricular septal defect. Diagnoses are confirmed by echocardiography, catheterization, surgery, or autopsy.
Denominator: Number of live births and stillbirths among women residing in Utah.

Page Content Updated On 09/10/2010, Published on 09/13/2010
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 05 July 2015 17:28:29 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:09:20 MST