Know the Types of Heart Disease in Children

Updated at: Apr 24, 2018
Know the Types of Heart Disease in Children

Cardiovascular disease seems to affect not only the old but kids as well. Children too fall victim to the disease. With the terrible lifestyle choices we make, it tends to affect our children as well. 

Arushi Bidhuri
Heart HealthWritten by: Arushi BidhuriPublished at: Apr 24, 2018

Cardiovascular disease seems to affect not only the old but kids as well. Children too fall victim to the disease. With the terrible lifestyle choices we make, it tends to affect our children as well. It is tragic to even think about it, but it is better to be aware of the facts than be sorry. So, here are the facts about the heart disease that can affect children.

Congenital Heart Defect

A heart defect that occurs when the blood vessels near the heart do not develop the way they are supposed to, before birth. Congenital heart defect (CHD) could have a long-term harmful effect on the children. CHD that affects children include:

  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome – the left side of the heart is underdeveloped
  • Heart valve disorders – the narrowing of the aortic valve (a valve in the human heart between the left and the aorta), that constricts the blood flow.
  • Holes in the heart
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is the narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup on the artery walls. Arteries become stiffened and narrowed as the buildup increases, increasing the risk of heart attacks. Children are less likely from the disease; however, some factors such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and other health issues could increase the risk of disease among women. Family history is another factor that can put a child at risk.


  • Arrhythmias means irregular heartbeat – a group of conditions where the heartbeat is irregular. It can be divided into:
  • Bradycardia – slow heartbeat
  • Tachycardia – fast heartbeat
  • Flutter or Fibrillation – irregular heartbeat

Heart Murmurs

A heart murmur is a recurring sound made by the blood circulating through the heart’s chambers or through blood vessels near the heart.

Heart murmurs may be caused by fever, anemia, and CHDs. The physician when hears an abnormal heart murmur in a child, they’ll perform additional tests to be sure that the child’s heart is healthy.

Rheumatic Heart Disease

Rheumatic heart disease is a group of acute and chronic heart disorders that can occur as a result of rheumatic fever. One of the common consequences of rheumatic fever is damage to heart valves – these damages lead to a defect in the heart. Usually, the fever attacks children aged 5-15 years.

If not treated, the disease can permanently damage the heart valves the heart muscle.

Viral Infections

Some viral infection can lead to myocarditis – a condition which reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood. Viral infections of the heart are uncommon and show only a few symptoms; hence it becomes difficult to diagnose it.

Some of the symptoms include shortness of the breath, chest discomfort and fatigue. The virus of the infection attacks the heart muscle, causes inflammation and damages the electrical pathways that signal the heart to beat properly. This could lead to some severe heart problems such as irregular heart rhythms and heart failure.

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