Facts About CHD/RHD

Global ARCH / Learn More / Facts About CHD/RHD
  • Each year about 1.3 million children are born with congenital heart disease (CHD).[1]
  • One in four will die without immediate intervention[2] and many more will need childhood surgery to reach age 18. But 90% of the world’s children have no access to cardiac care.[3]
  • In many disadvantaged communities, untreated infections also can cause rheumatic heart disease (RHD).[3]
  • RHD is the most common children’s heart problem in many low-income countries. Worldwide there are an estimated 33 million people living with RHD.[4]
  • Both CHD and RHD patients need life-long special cardiac care to keep their hearts healthy. Even countries with excellent childhood heart care often struggle to care for these patients as they age.
  • We need your help to ensure that every person with childhood-onset heart disease gets the care they need to live a long and healthy life

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Amy Verstappen, President

Amy Verstappen has been a patient advocate and health educator since 1996, when her own challenges living with a complex heart defect led her to the Adult Congenital Heart Association, where she served as president from 2001 to 2013. She has served as an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and the International Society for Adult Congenital Cardiac Disease, and worked with congenital heart patient and professional groups throughout the USA and the world.  Ms. Verstappen received a Masters in Education in 1990 and a Masters in Global Health in 2019.