Facts about CHD

  • Approximately 1 in 100 children are born with heart disease – That is six babies every day across Australia – Over 2000 per year.
  • Heart disease is one of the most common birth abnormalities
  • CHD is one of the greatest killers of infants under the age of one
  • Each week more than 4 children pass away as a result of CHD
  • It is estimated that 32,000 children (under 18 years of age) are currently living with CHD in Australia
  • Some children acquire heart conditions during childhood, e.g. cardiomyopathy, Kawasaki disease (- 200 p.a *) or as a result of rheumatic fever
  • A disproportionate number of indigenous children suffer from acquired heart disease – often as a result of rheumatic fever, which is prevalent in many communities.
  • Up to 20% of heart defects are gene-linked abnormalities. It has nothing to do with diet. These children have congenital heart disease – not coronary, which is what most adult heart patients have.
  • Approx half of children diagnosed with heart disease require surgery to correct the defect,
  • Australia has one of the highest rates of Rheumatic Fever in the world. This is rife in our indigenous communities and causes major damage to the heart valves.
  • For the first time in our history there are more people over the age of 16 with CHD than younger. This is due to medical advances. In days gone by they were the ‘blue babies’, most of whom died at birth.
  • HeartKids is the only organisation in Australia focussed on childhood heart disease.
South Australia