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Dr Diana R Holdright

Consultant Cardiologist

Dr Diana Holdright

Cardiac Conditions - Congenital Heart Disease

Improvements in the detection, treatment and long-term management of babies born with heart problems (congenital heart disease) have led to an ever-increasing number of adult survivors with Grown Up Congenital Heart (GUCH) or Adult Congenital Heart disease. Approximately 9 in 1000 people are born with a heart defect, which may affect blood flow to or through the heart, or cause the heart to beat irregularly; some defects are relatively benign and may require observation in the first instance, but other patients have complex disease requiring lifelong specialist care in dedicated units. Not only does this involve regular monitoring to look for progression of disease, but there also are many non-cardiac issues which need to be addressed, such as the risks associated with surgery (even seemingly “simple” procedures, which can carry significant risk in some patients), sport and exercise, and pregnancy (both in terms of the risk to the mother of pregnancy and delivery, but also the risks to the foetus from the mother’s medication, and the potential for the heart abnormality to be passed on to the child).

For these and many other reasons, most adults with congenital heart disease should have access to a specialist unit, which they will attend lifelong.

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Cardiac Conditions - Congenital Heart Diseas