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About congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease or congenital heart defects

They are problems and abnormalities in the structure of the heart and the way it works at birth

Including lifelong related consequences.

Hearts and Shapes

Heart disease in numbers

Children living in the country under the age of 18


The incidence of malformations and congenital heart defects in the country


A child is born every year with congenital heart disease


Approximately 970 children are born each year with congenital heart disease, which is the leading cause of infant mortality associated with birth defects.  The incidence of malformations and congenital heart defects in the country is relatively higher than international levels, which is estimated at 10 per 1000 newborns.


It is estimated that 80% of children (under 18 years of age) are currently living with congenital heart disease in the UAE. Because of medical advances, there are now more adults with congenital heart disease. A more accurate number is not available because we do not have a system to track congenital heart disease after early infancy. Thanks to ongoing research, more children with congenital heart disease have reached adulthood, and for the first time in history there are more adults than children with congenital heart disease.

Causes of congenital heart disease / how to prevent it

Congenital heart disease occurs due to the incomplete or abnormal development of a baby's heart during the first weeks of pregnancy. The defect usually interferes with the normal flow of blood through the heart, which can affect breathing. Although researchers aren't entirely sure why heart failure develops properly, a few known causes and risk factors have been identified.


Diagnosis of congenital heart disease

Many serious and more severe congenital heart diseases are detected during pregnancy, during a routine ultrasound. Some cases may be diagnosed soon after birth. Less serious heart conditions may not be diagnosed until adolescence or early adulthood and you begin to show certain signs or symptoms of congenital heart disease.


The signs and symptoms of congenital heart disease depend on the type and severity of the specific defect.  Some defects may have few or no signs or symptoms

Available treatments:

Treatment for a congenital heart defect depends on the type and severity of the defect. Some children have mild heart defects that heal on their own over time. Others may have serious defects that require extensive treatment.

Follow-up health care for congenital heart disease

Children with congenital heart disease are followed up by specialists called pediatric cardiologists. These doctors diagnose heart conditions and help manage children's health before and after their heart problem.

There are at least 35 different types of congenital heart disease

Many of these types of congenital heart disease have multiple variations depending on the individual's unique anatomy. Several defects may occur together and other defects may be found in isolation.

Lifetime Support

People with congenital heart disease face unique challenges, treatment and repeat surgery often throughout their lives, and support is critical at every stage of their life journey - from the time of congenital heart disease diagnosis through childhood, teenage years and into adulthood.


The Emirates Congenital Heart Association (UAE-CHA) is the only national public benefit organization dedicated to supporting people of all ages affected by congenital heart disease, the leading cause of infant death in the UAE and a complex chronic disease requiring lifelong treatment.


The Emirates Congenital Heart Association (UAE-CHA) provides timely support to infants, young adults and adults with congenital heart disease and their families across the UAE. We monitor life-saving advanced scientific research, provide reliable and evidence-based information, and advocate for the needs of affected families.


Our support is a lifelong commitment.

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