The incidence of congenital heart disease in children with Down syndrome is approximately 50%.  The 3 most common categories of heart conditions found in children are:

  1. Atrioventricular Septal Defects
  2. Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD), Atrial Septal Defect or Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
  3. Other complex heart disease

Atrioventricular Septal Defects make up approximately 60% of congenital heart disease in Down syndrome.  Most cardiologists agree that all babies with Down syndrome should have a cardiology examination, even if they show no symptoms as sometimes elevated blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension) can often mask the symptoms of heart disease.  Children with Down syndrome are also often referred for surgery earlier than a child without Down syndrome because this pulmonary hypertension can become irreversible. (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital)

Birth Defects – Heart Abnormalities

Down’s Heart Group Information Pack

The Heart and Children with Down Syndrome – by Dr Dan Schneider

Congenital Heart Defects

Links

Heart Kids  www.heartkids.org.au

Down’s Heart Group Online Community  www.groups.yahoo.com/group/Downs-Heart

Down’s Heart Group – a charity offering suppoer and information relating to heart conditions associated with Down syndrome www.dhg.org.uk