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What is congenital heart disease (CHD)?

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a defect in the structure of the heart that is present at birth. With CHD, the heart or blood vessels near the heart do not develop properly during the early stages of pregnancy. The defect can cause unusual blood flow or other medical concerns.

What causes CHD?

CHD often happens at random. Sometimes, family history can also play a role. CHD is not anyone’s fault. It is not caused by anything you or your partner did.

What are common symptoms of CHD?

In babies and children, common symptoms include:

  • Slow growth
  • Getting sweaty easily
  • Breathing very fast
  • Getting very tired while feeding
  • Blue or purple color around the mouth while eating

Rev. 11/2017. Mass General for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.