Over 1M babies born with heart defect every year

Over a million babies open their eyes to the world with a congenital heart anomaly every year, said a Turkish doctor on Thursday.

As part of Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week, Feb. 7-14, the Turkish Child Heart Foundation held a meeting to raise awareness of congenital heart diseases at a museum in Istanbul.

At the meeting, a large number of people who were born with congenital heart disease and survived through heart surgery or treatments during their infancy and childhood period met with heart specialists.

Dr. Tayyar Sarıoğlu, the group's chair, said awareness of congenital heart anomalies is very important for society.

He said nearly 15,000 babies are born in Turkey with every year, and over one million worldwide.

He also stressed that at least one in every 100 babies across the world has a congenital heart defect.

Stressing the importance of early diagnosis, control and therapy, he said there are more than 200 types of congenital heart diseases, and 30% percent of them can be detected after birth, while others can be noticed within one month.

Stressing modern-day opportunities, he said 90-95% of babies born with congenital heart disease can survive and live healthy lives.

But he cautioned that if the treatment of these babies does not begin within the first month after birth, their chances of surviving are greatly jeopardized.

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