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Cardiovascular conditions of childhood

Many children are always born with hearts that are normal and healthy. However, in some cases, children may be born having heart defects or abnormalities. If proper treatment is observed, these children will lead a normal life, or one that is close to normal. There are several cardiovascular heart diseases observed in children.

Congenital heart disease

This is a heart disease that a baby will be born with. Some types of CHD may not be diagnosed during infancy because they are mild while others are severe hence are diagnosed soon after birth. Examples of congenital heart diseases are ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect and transposition of the two large arteries.

Acquired heart disease

This is a heart disease that is not present during birth. There are two acquired heart diseases that occur in children:

Rheumatic heart disease

This is the most common heart disease and if mostly found in the developing countries. Rheumatic fever leads to the damaging of the heart muscle and heart valves. The Rheumatic fever is caused by a streptococcal bacteria and its prevention can be achieved through the treatment of acute throat infections. Surgery can also be also be done to replace heart valves in patients with severely damaged valves though doing this is very costly.

Kawasaki heart disease

This disease occurs in young children, mostly boys. It is most common in Japan although it has also been evidenced in other countries. It is characterized by an acute inflammation of the blood vessels, hands and feet that are swollen, fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes. Serious heart damages can occur if this disease is not treated soon enough.

Causes of heart defects

These heart defects can develop when the baby is still developing in the mother’s womb. The defects may again be acquired genetically, due to the family’s history. Another cause of these defects is a virus infection that can make the children prone to getting the heart problem. Lastly, illnesses that these children may suffer during their childhood can also contribute to their getting hearts defects.

Now that children with heart disease can live a normal and full life, their parents or guardians should be alert so that incase symptoms are seen, the children can be taken for diagnosis and early treatment. This will prolong their lives.