Extant epidemiologic results for pediatric congenital heart disease (CHD) are dated. Given the degree of variability in previous prevalence estimates and the rapid changes in pediatric cardiology diagnostic and treatment procedures, a reexamination of these rates represents a potentially important update in this area of inquiry. This report characterizes the prevalence rates of children with CHD in one state’s treated pediatric population by type of lesion and in comparison with published rates from previous studies. Two 15-year data sets (1996–2010) are analyzed. The inclusion criteria for the study required the participants to be 17 years or younger, enrollees in the South Carolina State Medicaid or State Health Plan, and recipients of a CHD diagnosis on one or more service visits to a pediatrician or pediatric cardiologist. A 15-year accrued prevalence rate for pediatric CHD of 16.7 per 1,000 was found among 1,145,364 unduplicated children served. The annual incidence rates varied from 6.3 to 8.6 per 1,000, with an initial downward trend from 1996 to 2002 followed by an upward trend from 2003 to 2008. A higher prevalence of atrioventricular canal/endocardial cushion defects, common/single ventricle, double-outlet right ventricle, tetralogy of Fallot, and truncus arteriosus and a lower prevalence of dextro-transposition of the great arteries were diagnosed in South Carolina than in other states and countries according to published results. The study results underscore the need for periodic updating of prevalence data for pediatric CHD, both in total and for specific lesions, to anticipate and provide more specialized care to young patients with CHD, especially in the more rare and complex cases.
Congenital heart disease Prevalence rates Severe lesions Common lesions
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Funding for this study was provided through a Clinical Incentive Research Grant from the University of South Carolina Provost’s Office.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest.
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