About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Heart Disease Risk: You Could Be Born With It

by Rishika Gupta on March 3, 2019 at 5:55 PM
Font : A-A+

Heart Disease Risk: You Could Be Born With It

Your risk of developing heart disease in adult life increases you were born with a heart defect, suggests a new study. The results of this study are published in the journal of Circulation.

An infant born with a relatively simple heart defect is far more likely to develop heart problems as an adult, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered.

Advertisement


The risk is so great that someone born with a heart defect who has a heart-healthy lifestyle is twice as likely to develop heart problems as someone born without a defect who has a heart-averse lifestyle.

"All of us in cardiology recognize that people with the complex disease need follow-up care throughout their lives," said James Priest, MD, assistant professor of pediatric cardiology. "But for the simple problems, we've been thinking that once you close the hole or fix the valve, these patients are good to go."
Advertisement

The research findings suggest that the medical community should watch adults who were born with heart defects -- even minor ones -- more carefully. Medications and lifestyle changes may help prevent or delay significant heart conditions, such as heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

A paper describing the research will be published Feb. 28 in Circulation. Priest is the senior author; Priyanka Saha, a student at Harvard Medical School who was a research fellow at Stanford from 2017 to 2018, is the lead author.

Most common congenital condition

About 1 percent of infants are born with heart defects, the most common congenital condition. Those with less-complex defects, such as a hole in the heart or a faulty valve, nearly always survive into adulthood, sometimes unaware of the defect until later in life.

To conduct their research, Priest, Saha and their colleagues mined data from the U.K. Biobank, which includes health data on 500,000 British residents aged 37 to 73 during the biobank's recruitment period from 2006 to 2010.

They found 2,006 people who had mild congenital heart defects. For reasons the researchers don't understand, the members of this group were slightly more likely to be obese, to smoke, to have high blood pressure and to have diabetes -- all factors that increase the risk for cardiovascular problems.

However, even after adjusting for those risk factors, they found that those born with mild heart defects were 13 times as likely to develop heart failure or atrial fibrillation, five times as likely to have a stroke, and twice as likely to suffer a heart attack than those born without heart defects.

Adult survivors of congenital heart defects with fewer risk factors for heart disease -- such as smoking, having high blood pressure and being obese -- fared better than those who had more risk factors. Those with a heart-healthy lifestyle were about a third less likely to develop heart conditions than those with five or more heart disease risk factors.

A mystery

It's unclear why adults who were born with heart defects suffer more heart disease, the study said. The researchers propose several possibilities, including the stress of surgery, genetic predisposition and cellular dysfunction.

"Is it the surgery? Could it be the medications? Or is it something intrinsic to having congenital heart disease? We don't know," Priest said, adding, "We don't know why infants have congenital heart disease, to begin with."

Saha said further research into why congenital heart disease leads to adult heart problems could help shape follow-up care. But physicians can begin helping these patients right away by providing more surveillance.

"That's something that can change right now," she said. "We can start connecting them with cardiology specialists."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
Emotional Healing
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cardiac Catheterization Heart Attack Air travel: To fly or not to fly Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Body Mass Index Silent Killer Diseases Heart Healthy Heart Lifestyle Paths to Prevent Heart Disease Statins 

Recommended Reading
Getting Enough Sleep Cuts Heart Disease Risk
Getting sufficient sleep can help protect against heart disease by preventing the buildup of ......
Obesity and Severe Obesity Can Put Children, Teens at Higher Risk of Early Heart Disease
Children and teens who suffer from obesity and severe obesity are more likely to have early heart .....
Women with Good Friends Less Likely to Develop Heart Disease
Having a strong social support network may reduce the risk of death from heart disease in ......
Air travel: To fly or not to fly
Air travel is for everyone, even those with medical conditions....
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body f...
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is a radiological procedure for both diagnosis and treatment of heart condit...
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the lead...
Lifestyle Paths to Prevent Heart Disease
Heart disease can be of many types depending upon whether they involve the heart muscles or artery w...
Statins
Statins are new wonder drugs that are proving to be efficacious, not merely in relieving symptoms bu...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use