The treatment of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) has progressed vastly over the last five decennia. In the Netherlands, around 200,000 children are born each year, around 1,800 of whom have a CHD. This incidence – 6 – 8 per thousand live births – is reported to be similar round the world, making CHD the world’s commonest congenital anomaly. In the Netherlands, this high incidence and the improved treatment options both mean that the number of people surviving CHD is increasing by approximately 5% per year. No longer are most patients with a CHD children: the paediatric population is now outnumbered by the adult population. Although accurate statistics on prevalence are lacking, as many as 70,000 children and adults with different types of CHD are estimated to be alive in the Netherlands today. Representing a prevalence of approximately 4 per 1000 patients, this approaches the prevalence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (11 per 1000 patients) and rheumatoid arthritis (9 per 1000 patients), which are considered to be common diseases in general practice.

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W.A. Helbing (Willem)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Koning, W. (2012, June 6). Congenital Heart Disease and General Practice. Retrieved from