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Understanding Child Heart Disease

Jun 8, 2008
Heart disease is a disorder, which affect the proper functioning of the heart. Child heart disease is common affecting many newborn and older children. This article examines the various child heart diseases and their treatment.

Congenital Heart Disease

Heart disease is a serious ailment and often leads to premature death. Many children can also suffer from heart disease. Child heart disease is actually quite a common worldwide. When a child is born with an existing defect in the heart, it is called congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease is fairly. It affects almost one percent of all newborn.

Often, the first diagnosis of child heart disease is made during routine examination when the pediatrician detects heart murmur. Heart murmur is the noise that the blood makes as it flows through the heart. Heart murmurs are fairly common in children. It is not necessarily a sign of child heart disease.

If a heart murmur is due to a problem in a child's heart, it is caused either by a hole in the heart, a leaky heart valve, or constricted heart valve. To confirm the diagnosis, an examination by a pediatric cardiologist is necessary. Pediatric specializes in child heart disease.

Abnormalities of the heart may or may not be noticeable at birth. For example, a hole in the heart wall will allows blood to travel from one side to the other. In such case, the baby may have blue lips or fingers. This is one of the signs of child heart disease.

Another example of child heart disease is an abnormal heart valve, which allow blood to flow in the opposite direction. Such a problem will usually require surgery once the child is older.

Congenital heart disease must be treated promptly or it will lead to more serious complications. Hence, early detection is important. Unfortunately, many heart defects are not detected at birth resulting in more damage to the heart and requiring more extensive treatment.

Some forms of congenital heart disease are actually self-healing. However, in many cases, major surgery will be required to rectify the problems.

While there are risks associated with surgery, the chances of full recovery and a normal life are very high. So the situation is not hopeless.

Connection between Premature Infants and Heart Disease

A baby is considered premature if born before 37 weeks. Most premature babies are born with some form of heart problem. A premature infant's organs are also not fully developed, and thus require special care in a nursery or intensive care unit while their organ systems continue growth.

Although there is no sure way to avoid premature labor, one of the most important preventive measures to receive proper prenatal care. Statistics show that proper prenatal care greatly reduces the odds of premature birth and related deaths.

The pregnant mother should also maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, keep well hydrated and have at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

Hereditary Heart Disease

Hereditary heart disease refers to heart disease, which is passed down through genes. It is not preventable. If one has a history of heart disease in the family then one is at risk of hereditary heart disease.

The risk is greater when first-degree relatives, such as your mother, father, brother, sister and so on, have heart disease.

In rare cases, high cholesterol level runs in the family. This is called familial hypercholesterolaemia. It is a genetic problem, which results in exceptionally high level of cholesterol. As a result, there is a high of heart disease.

Hereditary heart disease is caused by various factors. Sometimes, it is merely a pattern of heart disease rather than true hereditary heart disease. These are actually avoidable. For example, the family lifestyle such as poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking. All of these factors contribute to heart disease and can be the start of the chain of hereditary heart disease. In such cases, changing these risk factors will reduce the likelihood of heart disease. This means eating a proper well-balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, as well as avoids smoking and excessive drinking.

By living a healthy lifestyle, it is possible to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, even if one's genes are predispose to heart disease.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit Cure For Heart Disease to find out how do you get heart disease.
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