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Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)

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— A broad term for a number of different abnormalitiespresent at birth (congenital) affecting the heart. Though present at birth, the effects of theseabnormalities may not be obvious immediately. In some cases, the defects may not be evidentfor years, may never cause any problems and are compatible with normal physical activity and anormal life span. Congenital heart disease is responsible for more deaths in the first year of lifethan any other birth defects. Many of these defects need to be followed carefully. Though someheal over time, others will require treatment. Congenital heart disease is often divided into twotypes: those with cyanosis (blue discoloration caused by a relative lack of oxygen) and thosewithout cyanosis.

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