Congenital heart disease, atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, Kawasaki disease, and pericarditis are common in children with diverse symptoms.
Having heart disease affects children. However, with advances in medicine and technology, many children with the disease still lead an active life. Here are the common heart diseases children have, according to Healthline.
Congenital heart disease
Congenital heart disease or congenital heart defect (CHD) is a defect of the heart muscle, heart valves, heart chambers that occurs in the fetus and persists after birth. Congenital heart disease with obstruction includes: aortic valve stenosis, pulmonary valve stenosis. The group of septal defects includes: atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect…
Congenital heart defects can have long-term effects on a baby’s health. They are usually treated with surgery, catheterization procedures, medications, and heart transplants. Some children have to be monitored and treated for life.
Atherosclerosis is the term used to describe the accumulation of fatty, cholesterol-filled plaques inside the arteries. As the buildup increases, the arteries become stiff and narrow, increasing the risk of blood clots and heart attacks. It usually takes the body many years for atherosclerosis to develop. It is not uncommon for children or adolescents to have this condition.
Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems put children at higher risk of developing the disease. Doctors recommend that families should screen cholesterol and blood pressure regularly in children with risk factors such as a family history of heart disease or diabetes, being overweight or obese.
Treatment includes lifestyle changes such as increased exercise and dietary modifications.
An arrhythmia is a condition that occurs when the electrical impulses that coordinate the heart’s rhythm work abnormally, causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly.
Symptoms children may experience include: fatigue, fainting, loss of appetite… Treatment depends on the type of arrhythmia and how it affects the child’s health.
Kawasaki disease is an acute febrile illness or systemic rash in young children, characterized by diffuse inflammation of the small and medium-sized blood vessels throughout the body, including the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. The disease is so rare, researchers are still not sure what causes it.
Treatment depends on the extent of the disease. Children with this condition often have lifelong follow-up visits to monitor their heart health.
This condition occurs when the sac or thin membrane surrounding the heart (pericardium) becomes inflamed or infected. The amount of fluid between its two layers increases, impairing the heart’s ability to pump blood as it should.
Pericarditis can occur after surgery to repair CHD or it can be caused by a bacterial infection, chest trauma, or a connective tissue disorder such as lupus. Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, the child’s age, and overall health.