What Is Congenital Heart Disease?

Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is a defect in the structure of the heart and great vessels which is present at birth. Many types of heart defects exist, most of which either obstruct blood flow in the heart or vessels near it, or cause blood to flow through the heart in an abnormal pattern. Other defects, such as long QT syndrome, affect the heart’s rhythm. Heart defects are among the most common birth defects and are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. Approximately 9 people in 1000 are born with a congenital heart defect. Some complex congenital heart defects require medication or surgery.

Most of the time CHD is serious and requires surgery and/or medications. Medications include diuretics, which aid the body in eliminating water, salts, etc… for strengthening the contraction of the heart. This slows the heartbeat and removes some fluid from tissues. Some defects require surgical procedures to restore circulation back to normal and in some cases, multiple surgeries are needed. Interventional cardiology now offers patients minimally invasive alternatives to surgery.

Incidence, Morbidity & Mortality

  • Congenital heart defects are every country’s #1 birth defect. Nearly one of every 100 babies is born with a CHD.

  • Congenital heart defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths.

  • Each year over 1,000,000 babies are born worldwide with a congenital heart defect. 100,000 of them will not live to see their first birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood.

Lifelong Disease

  • Almost half all children and adults with complex congenital heart disease have neurological and developmental disabilities.

  • For the first time, more than 50% of the CHD survivors are adults.

  • 10% of all CHD cases evaluated in an Adult CHD clinic are first diagnosed in adulthood.


  • More than 50% of all children born with congenital heart defect will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime.

  • There are more than 40 different types of congenital heart defects. Little is known about the cause of most of them. There is no known prevention or cure for any of them.


What Sunshine Charity Does to Support those with Congenital Heart Disease:

In personally meeting the sick children to be sponsored by Sunshine Charitydonors will be assured that their love and dedication is making a difference in others’ lives, by allowing them to live with the basic dignity that we all deserve as human beings.

We have a special focus on helping underprivileged children who suffer from congenital heart disease in Mainland China. 100% of the funds raised for this program will be used to subsidize the cost of surgery for these children (i.e. 0% will be used for the administration costs of Sunshine Charity).